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Facility Finder

Use our database to find state-of-the-art research facilities and testing equipment in Kent and Medway. Become a member and log in to send an enquiry

Modern commercial glasshouse facilities

Crop research / agronomy

NIAB (East Malling Site)

Climate controlled compartments might be used to compare crop performance at different light, temperature and humidity regimes using new or existing varieties. Compartments could be used to assess novel approaches to pest or disease control in a controlled environment. Nutritional research on a range of crops could be undertaken to develop precision fertigation regimes.

3D Metal Printer

Engineering and automation

Canterbury Christ Church University

Our 3D metal printer manufactured by DMG Mori uses additive manufacturing to create prototype products using production-grade material. Designed to be used with either CAD or 3D Modeling this equipment can be used to model and produce highly specialised end-use parts with complex geometry or structures. Furthermore, due to the inbuilt processes, errors in modelling can be rectified prior to the commencement of printing, resulting in a higher level of accuracy in the end product. The use of a metal 3D printer can enable fast prototyping, reduced manufacturing costs, improved product quality or product customisation.

3D Metal Printer

Engineering and automation

Canterbury Christ Church University

Our 3D metal printer manufactured by DMG Mori uses additive manufacturing to create prototype products using production-grade material. Designed to be used with either CAD or 3D Modeling this equipment can be used to model and produce highly specialised end-use parts with complex geometry or structures. Furthermore, due to the inbuilt processes, errors in modelling can be rectified prior to the commencement of printing, resulting in a higher level of accuracy in the end product. The use of a metal 3D printer can enable fast prototyping, reduced manufacturing costs, improved product quality or product customisation.

Biosensor Development (Biosciences/Electronic and Digital Arts/Physical Sciences and Chemistry)

Other

University of Kent

A suite of software and equipment to design, protoype and test a range of sensors is available. Sensors can be functionalised to develop biosensors using smart polymers designed in-house and tested using scanning-electron microscopy (SEM) differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis, Raman microscopy, dynamic light scattering analysis (particle sizing), XRD, single-crystal diffractometer, X-ray fluorescence, contact angle analysis, rheometry and polarising optical microscopy.

Plant Growth Rooms

Crop research / agronomy

NIAB

Growth rooms are available for experiments to assess plant growth at controlled light, temperature and humidity levels. Such chambers might be used to identify optimum growth conditions for plants, or to identify the full growth or yield potential of a crop plant by providing optimum growing conditions over an extended period of weeks or months. One chamber can be run at lower temperatures offering the opportunity to conduct vernalisation work. It could be used to investigate optimum temperatures for long term storage of plants, or for calculating the chilling requirement of dormant plant material.

Research Vineyard

Crop research / agronomy

NIAB

Planted in 2015, the research vineyard is used for both scientific and demonstration purposes. It has been set up to reflect UK commercial practice and provide an essential tool to test upstream innovative practices. The aim of our applied research is to improve grape yields and juice quality whilst using resources responsibly and sustainably in ways that can be implemented in the UK’s cool-climate commercial vineyards.

Research Winery

Developing food products, Crop research / agronomy

NIAB

With the establishment of a research vineyard in 2015, NIAB scientists need to produce sparkling and still wines to evaluate the impact of vineyard treatments on wine quality. The rapidly expanding English wine industry requires research support to extend the range and quality of wines available. The research winery was constructed in 2022 to create the first bespoke R&D Wine Innovation Centre in the UK.

WET Centre

Crop research / agronomy

NIAB

The WET Centre was set up in 2017 to demonstrate ‘best practice’ in precision irrigation and explore innovation in environmental control and precision fertigation. It is currently funded by industry partners who provide the latest technology in soilless substrates, data loggers and data capture, irrigation technology, and environmental control. The Centre demonstrates how commercial growers can safely reduce their water use whilst maintaining or improving yield and quality. It has further evolved to demonstrate ‘best practice’ in environmental control and precision fertigation, helping the industry to maximise yield and profitability with improved resource use efficiency and sustainability.

Plum Demonstration Centre

Crop research / agronomy

NIAB

The Plum Demonstration Centre was established at East Malling in 2015 as partial fulfilment of an Innovate UK funded project which set out to improve the profitability of UK grown plums. Previously funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, it is now supported by a consortium of UK plum growers who are currently using it to demonstrate ‘best practice’ in tree management, irrigation, and nutrition.

East Malling Rhizolab

Crop research / agronomy

NIAB

Following the opening of the then ‘Wye College Fruit Experiment Station’ in 1913, early work focussed on the relationships between tree anatomy and rootstock vigour. The growth and physiology of roots were studied extensively in root trenches with plate glass sides enabling in-situ field studies, where roots could be observed through the glass and root growth measured using grids etched into the glass. In the 1960s a more sophisticated root-laboratory was constructed and is today called the ‘East Malling Rhizolab’.

Horticultural Trials Services

Crop research / agronomy

NIAB

The horticultural industry is continually evolving and innovating to meet the changing demands of customers, consumers and the ever increasing need to manage our environment and grow our crops in a more sustainable way. Before new products are introduced to the industry, they must be scientifically evaluated and compared to existing controls. NIAB offers trials services to allow such evaluation to take place.

Cell Image Analysis Facility

Plant biotechnology

University of Kent

Tissue and cell imaging enables the investigation of the structural, functional, and physiological attributes of plant cells in both standard and stress-induced growth environments. Numerous technologies have been devised to facilitate this. These tools furnish not only anatomical insights into plants at tissue, cellular, and subcellular tiers, but also enable the visualization of the spatial-temporal fluctuations in essential cellular activities, such as mitosis, morphogenesis, and cytoskeleton dynamics. Moreover, they allow for the examination of the distribution and kinetics of particular molecules, including proteins, nucleic acids, and other metabolites.

Biological NMR Facility

Plant biotechnology

University of Kent

NMR enables in-depth analysis of crop metabolomics, aiding understanding plant biochemistry under diverse conditions. Crop companies benefit by refining cultivation techniques, trait selection, and enhancing quality. It also serves as a tool for crop product quality control, confirming compound presence and identifying contaminants. In pesticide/herbicide analysis, NMR informs the development of eco-friendly formulations. It contributes to breeding programs, revealing chemical profiles for traits like nutrition, disease resistance, and drought tolerance. NMR sheds light on stress responses, guiding the creation of resilient varieties. Additionally, it assesses nutritional content, aids in metabolic engineering, monitors crop storage, and plant-microbe interactions for strategic applications.

Biomolecular Science Facility

Crop research / agronomy, Plant biotechnology

University of Kent

High-performance mass spectrometry is a dominant tool for interrogating the metabolomes, peptidomes, and proteomes of a diversity of plant species under various conditions, revealing key insights into the functions and mechanisms of plant biochemistry.

Resin 3D Printer

Other

Canterbury Christ Church University

Our suite of plastic 3D printers uses an additive manufacturing process to create prototype products using plastic, ceramic and cellulose materials. Designed to be used with either CAD or 3D Modelling this equipment can be used to model and produce highly specialised end-use parts with complex geometry or structures. Furthermore, due to the inbuilt processes, errors in modelling can be rectified prior to the commencement of printing, resulting in a higher level of accuracy in the end product. The use of a 3D printer can enable fast prototyping, reduced manufacturing costs, improved product quality or product customisation.

Wilson VH1150 Macro Vickers Hardness Tester

Other

Canterbury Christ Church University

Our hardness testers are used as part of our additive manufacturing and prototyping facilities to determine resistance of materials to deformation, penetration, scratching or indentation. Testing hardness is important to the field of engineering as a resistance to wear by either friction or erosion from steam, oil or water will generally increase with hardness.

Instron Tension and Compression Tester

Other

Canterbury Christ Church University

The Tension and Compression Tester are used for numerous projects combining materials and additive testing with scientific methodologies for desired outcomes. The compression tester is designed to apply a tensile force while simultaneously recording data as the specimen responds to the given stress. This stress includes responses such as Fatiuge, Impact, Rheology and Structural changes.

Armfield computer controlled Subsonic Wind Tunnel

Engineering and automation

Canterbury Christ Church University

Maker Space can be used to support various physical tests for drag resistance, aerodynamic testing. Typically used in Aviation, Space Travel and Car Manufacturing, this dynamic wind tunnel can be used as part of a larger battery of tests to support prototype design and manufacturing.

Fibre Laser Cutting Machine

Engineering and automation

Canterbury Christ Church University

A Fibre Laser unlike a CO2 laser is a cutting Machine is typically used to cut various ‘reflective’ materials including sheet metal, carbon steel, Stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminium and titanium. With capacity to cut something as thick as 12MM, a fibre laser is an important tool used within prototype and product development, allowing for accurate design and clean cuts.

Baby Plast Injection Moulding Machine

Other

Canterbury Christ Church University

Also known as an injection press, an injection moulding machine is used in larger scale manufacturing as it can be used to mass-produce a pre-designed product. By heating and injecting a plastic resin which is then pressed by a ram into a metal mould tool the user can mass-produce specific designed products with ease.

Mantech Laser Engraver

Engineering and automation

Canterbury Christ Church University

In short, CO2 laser marketing systems can be used to produce a high-quality mark on a given material such as barcodes, alphanumerical serial numbers, logos etc. Materials that can be marked including Metal, Wood, Glass, Rubber, Plastic and Cardboard.

XYZ Machine Tools, 660 HD

Engineering and automation

Canterbury Christ Church University

A XYZ Machine Tool uses Computer Numerical Control (CNC) to process a pre-programmed material. In other words, the XYZ will cut a verity of materials using a 12 station tool changer able to accommodate most components, on a rotary table allowing for multiple cuts across the 3 axes (X, Y & Z). The XYZ is capable of cutting woods and plastics as well as more dense materials such as Titanium, Cast Iron and Stainless Steel.

Festo Pneumatic Workstation

Engineering and automation

Canterbury Christ Church University

The Festo Pneumatic workstation is a system that uses compressed air to transport around a given circuit. This allows the user to understand and model the impact of various pressures such as pipe bends, introduction or removal of valves and much more which can be scaled to a larger setting.

Oxford I-MIG 330-3 industrial Mig Welder

Engineering and automation

Canterbury Christ Church University

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) is a process in which an electric arc forms between and electrode and metal workpiece – heating the metals and causing them to melt resulting in the two being fused.

Oxford TIG Maker AC-DC 330E Tig Welder

Engineering and automation

Canterbury Christ Church University

TIG welding can be used to weld Steel, Stainless Steel, Chromoly, Aluminium, Nickel Alloys, Magnesium, Copper, Brass, Bronze and even Gold. TIG welding is very reliant on skilled operators and has a hard time being automated.

High pressure homogenizer

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

Made by a food industry machines manufacturer, the optimised process on this equipment can be easily scaled up.

Protein analyser

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

To get the nutritional information of a product or to optimised extraction process of plant proteins.

Twin-screw extruder

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

Create new texturised products including but not limited to meat analogues, snacks, pastas, pellets

HR-20 Rheometer

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

This equipment can be used to measure and optimise flow, texture and melting behaviour of liquid and semisolid food products as well as packaging materials.

3D Food Printer

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

This technology can be used to create customised shapes, textures or can be used to prepare foods for personalised nutrition or foods for dysphagia patients.

Centrifuge

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

This equipment can be used in the development of extraction and purification methods of various compounds (e.g. proteins and starches) as well as some of the analysis methods.

Fat analyser

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

This equipment can be used for nutritional analysis of food products as well as research and development (e.g. formulation of low-fat products).

Fluidised-bed dryer

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

This dryer can be used for producing coated particles and instant powders with high solubility. This equipment is made by a food industry machines manufacturer so the optimised process on this equipment can be easily scaled up.

GCxGC TOF (Two dimensional GC-MS)

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

The GCxGC TOF can be used for flavour analysis of food products. It can detect and identify flavour compounds so the flavour of new products and be improved.

Mechanical Homogeniser and Overhead Stirrer

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

The homogeniser and the mixer can be used in sample preparation and product development.

Membrane Filtration System

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

The membrane filtration system can be used in concentration and purification processes without the need of heat or chemicals. For example separation of coloured pigments, separation and purification proteins etc.

Microplate Reader

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

The microplate reader is a useful equipment in various analysis tests.

MockMill

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

This mill can be used to turn dry, non-oily seeds, grains, and spices into powders.

Moisture analyser

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

This equipment can be used for shelf-life of food products as well as research and development.

Spray dryer

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

Spray drying is the most used method in the food industry to dry liquid foods. It is suitable for low to medium viscosity liquid products.

Ultrasound Processor

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

The power ultrasound can homogenise samples, break particles and cell walls and cause other physicochemical reactions. It can be used in extraction processes and other product developments. (N.B. Power ultrasound is different from diagnostic ultrasound that is used for imaging).

Vacuum freeze dryer

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

Freeze drying is being used as a premium drying method for heat and oxidation sensitive products as well as a reference drying method for some of the analysis methods.

Vacuum rotary evaporator

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

The vacuum rotary evaporator can be used in extraction and purification methods as well as some analysis methods, where solvent separation and concentration and low temperatures are necessary.

ViscoQuick RVA

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

This equipment can be used to study gelation behaviour of starch, proteins and hydrocolloids, which can be used in new product development (such as gluten free products) as well as product development and analysis.

Water activity meter

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

Water activity is an important parameter in evaluating the shelf-life and safety of all types of food. There are certain water activity thresholds that defines whether microbial, enzymatic, and chemical reaction can happen in a food product.

Food Product Development Laboratory

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

Product, formulation and process development. Product launch and showcasing events.

Air Classifier - Dry Fractionator

Developing food products

Medway Food Innovation Centre, University of Greenwich

The Dry Fractionator can sustainably produce a protein-rich fraction (protein concentrate) and a starch-rich fraction from legume and cereal flours and some other food powders without using any water, chemicals, or other solvents.

Produce Quality Centre - controlled atmosphere storage research

Crop research / agronomy

Natural

The facilities can be used to carry out trials to optimise storage and handling conditions for fresh produce in order to maintain quality and nutritional value and minimise losses.

Cutting-edge research capabilities

Whether you're looking to develop new product formulations, analyse salt content or find controlled growth rooms to trial production methods. Connecting with the latest technology can help drive innovation and give you a competitive advantage. 

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