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Element Six to Build Synthetic Diamond Innovation Center

May 8, 2012 12:49 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Element Six will begin construction of the world’s largest synthetic diamond super materials research and development facility in Harwell Oxford, just 20 minutes from Oxford, England. This new $32 million (GBP 20 million) facility will consolidate Element Six’s global innovation team into one integrated space, where it will develop a pipeline of products for customers in industries from oil and gas drilling to machining and electronics.

Once complete in spring 2013, this new innovation center will reinforce Element Six’s position as a world-leader in synthetic diamond research and employ more than 100 engineers, scientists and technicians, according to the firm. In addition, 50 new material science jobs will be created, with the vast majority of those positions made  available for highly-qualified graduate scientists, engineers and physicists. harwell oxford 

Element Six, which is co-owned by the De Beers Group and Umicore, applies the extreme properties of synthetic diamond super materials within abrasive applications and for a diverse range of advanced technologies. One such example includes the speaker dome that is used in the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamond Series loudspeakers for which Element Six has just been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in the U.K.

The Harwell Oxford location was chosen by Element Six, through support from U.K. Trade & Investment, due to its proximity of emerging technological talent and excellent global connectivity. Harwell Oxford is owned and managed by a public-private sector joint venture to foster innovation and business in science and technology. There are more than 4,500 people involved in this community, working in some 150 organizations including key U.K. Research Councils, start-ups and multi-national organizations.

Through an “open innovation” campus structure, organizations based in Harwell Oxford are brought together at each stage of the development process. Harwell Oxford provides a supportive environment where networking and collaboration facilitate access to technology, support services and potential customers. There is also extensive development potential for new or growing organizations and  investors looking to become part of this community.

Element Six's chief executive, Cyrus Jilla, said, ''I am positive [the center] will deliver higher performance products for our customers, disruptive technologies for new applications and markets, inspire and spur new related businesses in the U.K., and provide an extremely rewarding environment for our scientists who are at the forefront of their field.''

Vince Cable, a member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said, ''The investment by Element Six, that will bring a world-class research and development facility to Harwell, shows that the U.K. is a great place for innovative and cutting edge industries to invest. Along with a real boost to the local economy, providing around 50 new highly skilled engineering jobs, the investment shows that the Oxford region is a world-leading location for hi-tech research, and that the U.K. is open for business.''


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Tags: centre, diamonds, element, harwell oxford, innovation, Jeff Miller, six, synthetic
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