The SCG-Oxford Centre of Excellence in Chemistry
The SCG-Oxford Centre of Excellence for Chemistry (CoE) is a unique collaboration between the University of Oxford and SCG - one of the largest integrated conglomerates in Thailand and a key industry leader in the Asia-Pacific region. The mission of the CoE is to assist SCG in becoming less reliant on non-proprietary technologies and move into higher value products, whilst forging more synergic links with industry.
Established in 2012 and led by Professor Dermot O’Hare, the CoE’s main focus is on research and development in the area of nanomaterials and catalysis. Since its inception the CoE at Oxford has included a varied team of 34 people, including 11 professors, a deputy director, 3 early career fellows, 11 PDRAs and 7 PhD students, who all contribute to the success of the collaboration. At SCG Chemicals, from the President to industrial researchers, 25 people are directly involved in producing academic and industrial relevant chemistry.
The current value of funds committed by SCG to the CoE is now over £15 million. Since the initial collaboration, 50 projects have been established that include new, more effective generations of metallocene and pentalene catalysts for specialty grades (higher value added) of polyolefins, as well as a new class of dispersible, ultra-high surface area layered double hydroxides as a nano-additive in the plastics industry. They are also collaborating on developing new bespoke functional materials as catalysts for CO2 conversion and alkane activation, in addition to functional coatings and sorbents. Every year there are also ten projects under the SCG Innovation Fund (SIF) where sponsorship is offered on an initial short-term basis to see whether ideas are viable for longer-term research and sponsorship.
Impacts and outcomes:
- By 2021 the CoE has generated 81 academic publications and 37 patent applications.
- In 2016 Prof O’Hare and SCG were honoured by an audience with HRH Princess Sirindhorn on the occasion of celebrating Thailand-UK Science and Innovation Partnerships.
- Discoveries at the CoE led to SCG launching the CIERRATM functional materials platform. Three commercial functional materials products deriving from this platform technology are being launched by SCG: CIERRATM Flame Retardant, CIERRATM CO2 Capture and CIERRATM Barrier.
- In 2017 SCG created a wholly-owned UK subsidiary, SENFI-UK, based at the University of Oxford Begbroke Science Park. SENFI-UK is SCG's first overseas R&D centre, which takes chemistry developed at the CoE directly to market.
- The SCG-Oxford Centre of Excellence for Chemistry was named 2019 winner of the prestigious Industry-Academia Collaboration Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The CoE won the award for creating a unique and long-standing collaboration bringing benefits to chemical science.
- The first commercial sales from a discovery made in Oxford at the CoE are expected in 2022.
Find out more at the SCG-Oxford Centre of Excellence website.