By Daniel Hunter

Element Six, a global leader in synthetic diamond supermaterials, today (Tuesday) announced that the company will invest £20 million constructing the world’s largest and most sophisticated synthetic supermaterials research and development facility in Harwell, Oxford.

Once complete in Spring 2013, the new state-of-the-art innovation centre will create around 50 new science jobs, with the vast majority of positions available for highly qualified graduate scientists, engineers and physicists. It will also reinforce Element Six’s position as a world-leader in synthetic diamond research and consolidate Element Six’s global R&D teams into one integrated centre.

UK Trade & Investment supported Element Six by proposing and advising on potential locations, organising site visits, facilitating meetings with site owners and developers, preparing bespoke research and bringing in the expertise in the councils, Local Economic Partnerships, academic institutions and research partners.

“The investment by Element Six, that will bring a world class research and development facility to Harwell, shows that the UK is a great place for innovative and cutting edge industries to invest," the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said.

"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 UK is open for business.

Cyrus Jilla, Element Six CEO, said that the UK was the best possible location for the investment.

“I am proud we selected the UK as the best location globally for our Innovation Centre," she said.

"I am positive it will deliver higher performance products for our customers, disruptive technologies for new applications and markets, inspire and spur new related businesses in the UK, and provide an extremely rewarding environment for our scientists who are at the forefront of their field.”

Element Six was recently awarded a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in the UK for the synthetic diamond speaker dome used in the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamond Series loudspeakers.

Other innovative uses of Element Six synthetic diamond include optics to enable the highest power levels achievable in CO2 lasers for automotive engineering, as semiconductors in the Large Hadron Collider, as detectors in medical radiotherapy, as cutters for the fastest rates of penetration in oil and gas drilling, and to enable picks used during road re-surfacing and repair to last up to 40 times longer than standard road picks.

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