Plymouth Materials Characterisation Network

PMCN and industry

Plymouth Materials Characterisation Network offers limited, free or discounted support to industry across the UK. Priority is given to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and particularly those located within Devon. To check your eligibility, please contact us directly on or +44 1752 586125.

General eligibility criteria for free support: 

  • located in Devon
  • a micro, small or medium sized enterprise
    • fewer than 250 employees
    • annual turnover below €50 million (approximately £42 million)
  • not more than 25% owned by a non-eligible company.

My business is not an SME, or not based in Devon – what can I do instead?

If your business doesn't fit the initial criteria but you would like to access our facilities, please get in touch! There are other routes for heavily discounted support or collaboration available to you, and our team would be more than happy to discuss these options with you. 

Plymouth Materials Characterisation Network (PMCN)

Following the success of our previous EU-funded project, Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre are delighted to launch Plymouth Materials Characterisation Network (PMCN), a new industry-focused project here at the University of Plymouth.

PMCN aims to build a self-sustaining network of researchers, technicians, industry experts, and academics who are familiar with and benefit from the use of Electron Microscopy (EM) in their day-to-day business. A series of events will underpin the network, bringing people together to encourage collaboration, knowledge exchange, and product development via mutual engagement, mentoring schemes, and training or placements. 

Any company wishing to utilise electron microscopy in their research and development can now access the available equipment here at PEMC, along with benefiting from our technical expertise across a range of disciplines, between now and 2023, including SEM, TEM, and FIB-SEM. Use is either free or heavily discounted, and companies of any size are now able to engage, though priority will be given to SMEs and those in the Devon region in the first instance. 

The project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and is expected to make waves across a range of sectors for businesses in not just Devon, but nationwide.

Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre (PEMC)

Based on the main University of Plymouth city centre campus, this multi-user facility supports both academic research and industry collaboration across a range of disciplines and sectors, as well as supporting teaching throughout the University. PEMC provides access to a comprehensive suite of light microscopes, electron microscopes (EM), imaging processing and analysis software for both 2D and 3D analysis, alongside 40+ years of relevant technical expertise.

Working with industry for more than 50 years, PEMC is a sustainable facility with a wealth of experience working with businesses to identify and explore solutions to product issues. We have direct experience working across sectors such as engineering, advanced manufacturing, photonics, geology, microelectronics, healthcare and more.

Unlike the previous project, all of PEMC's equipment is available for use, which includes cryo-LV-SEM, FE-SEM, TEM and FIB-SEM, PEMC will also be expanding their current equipment and moving to new premises on campus, which, upon arrival in 2022, will also be available for use in this project. This funded support also includes access to our team technical specialists, who all specialise in different fields; no matter what your product or sample is, we hope there will be someone who can help!