Manchester signs counter-terrorism deal with Home Office

The University of Manchester is to develop a host of new counter-terrorism technologies following the award of a multi-million pound research contract by the Home Office.

The funding will be used to fund three projects focusing on the detection, identification and decontamination of chemical, biological, radiological materials.

The project will form part of the Home Office's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear terrorism (CBRN) Resilience Programme, established in October 2001 with the task of ensuring that, in the event of a terrorist incident an effective response with minimal impact on lives, property and the environment is carried out.

The three projects, all separately funded, are led by members of the School of Chemistry with support from Chemical Engineering, Earth Science and Materials Science, all part of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Each of the projects will last four years and will focus on the development of innovative new technologies.

Professor Francis Livens, an expert in radiation sciences, will lead a project focusing on the identification and development of new molecules which can be incorporated into materials to be used as decontaminants on surfaces and in liquids.

Michael Turner, Professor of Materials Chemistry, will lead the development of new type of low cost sensor which uses organic semiconductors to detect chemical agents. The aim is to produce a printable sensor which can detect a diverse spectrum of chemicals.

Roy Goodacre, Professor of Biological Chemistry, will lead the development of a portable device which uses the interaction of laser light with matter to generate a fingerprint to identify and detect bacteria in the air.

Professor Paul O'Brien, Head of the School of Chemistry, said: "Our aim over the next four years will be to fulfill the strategic requirements for innovative new technologies as set out by the Home Office by providing world-class research and expertise within the School of Chemistry."

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Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson