The world’s largest and most sophisticated diamond research centre and development facility is now open. The centre, located in Oxford, UK will house a team of over 100 scientists from the Element Six team. The £20m Global Innovation Centre (GIC) at Harwell, near Oxford, will be officially opened by the (UK) Science Minister David Willetts MP, and Philippe Mellier, Chairman of Element Six, part of the De Beers Group of Companies.
The Harwell Oxford site is being developed into a world-leading hub for technology transfer and innovative business as part of a joint venture by Goodman, The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and The Science and Facilities Technology Council.
The new centre will provide the facilities to enable significant technological innovation for synthetic diamond and related super material products. These include modelling and design, materials preparation, a High Pressure High Temperature synthesis press hall, Chemical Vapour Deposition reactor synthesis labs, post-synthesis processing (e.g. polishing, cutting, shaping), materials analysis/characterisation and end application testing.
The result is a physical environment which fosters and enables open collaboration and partnership with customers in support of their product development programs. A rapid development of customised material within abrasive and technology applications will enable extreme leaps in end-application performance and productivity.
"Our new state-of-the-art Global Innovation Centre will consolidate and strengthen our innovation capability. For the first time in the global synthetic diamond industry, we can partner with customers to rapidly design, manufacture and test market-ready solutions all under 'one roof'. Quite simply the GIC puts Element Six at the forefront of diamond technology," commented Walter Huehn, Element Six CEO.