Surface Technology Systems' Investment in UCL Aims to Place UK at Forefront of Nanotechnology Research New Professorial Role to Drive Research and Cement Business and Academia Links

    CARDIFF, England, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Surface Technology Systems plc
 (STS), (FTSE: SRTS), and Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd. (SPP) today
 announced its plans to create a new professorial chair at the London Centre
 for Nanotechnology (LCN) and the Department of Electronic and Electrical
 Engineering at University College London (UCL).
     The new professorial appointment, will sit at the LCN and work to
 strengthen the relationship between STS and the educational organizations and
 pursue research in a number of important areas. The role will be particularly
 geared towards producing new nanotechnology devices, materials and processes
 for a range of important applications. This will enable a growing range of
 commercial, scientific, engineering and biomedical applications and produce
 real economic and societal impact through the creation of new healthcare, IT
 and environmental products.
     The chair has been endowed by STS and SPP and represents an important
 Japanese investment into the UK. The UK is particularly strong in the
 nanotechnology arena, with the LCN a highly visible player leading some of the
 UK's largest nano and bio-nano initiatives. The LCN is also extremely well
 connected to the rest of the world and so can be viewed as an international
 hub -- particularly as it is the only center based in a metropolis. This
 investment leverages and builds on the LCN's existing strengths and combines
 them with the substantial skills of STS and SPP in the nanotechnology area.
     "Nanotechnology is widely acknowledged by the technical, commercial and
 investment communities as a key enabling technology of the future," said
 Andrew Chambers, technology director at STS. "This investment by STS in the
 professorial chair at LCN will drive state-of-the-art research and place the
 UK amongst the world leaders in this influential field."
     In the last two years, Nanotechnology has attracted strong investment and
 interest from both the private and public sectors. Applications already
 developed include the production of high performance materials for aircraft
 and automobiles and the creation of synthetic bone material for use in medical
 procedures where natural bone has been damaged or removed.
     The LCN is a brand new, UK-based multidisciplinary research organization
 located in the heart of London's West End. It is structured to form a bridge
 between the physical and biomedical sciences, with a unique strategy and clear
 focus on exploitation and commercialization. A joint venture, the LCN brings
 together two of the world's leading institutions in nanotechnology --
 University College London and Imperial College London -- in a unique operating
 model. The center offers laboratory and office space that accesses the
 combined skills of eight departments, including medicine, physics, electrical
 and electronic engineering, materials and earth science. The LCN conducts
 world-class research in to the area of healthcare, information technology and
 the environment.
     About Surface Technology Systems plc
     STS designs and manufactures a range of highly specialized systems
 incorporating innovative technology used in the production of semiconductors
 and semiconductor-related devices and is a leader in plasma based etch and
 deposition technologies for processing semiconductor materials. STS serves a
 range of applications outside the 'mainstream' semiconductor market in several
 emerging sectors within the telecommunications, information technology and new
 MEMS and Nanotechnology applications.
     STS is the market leader in deep silicon etching for the growing MEMS
 market, offering patent-protected technology. In addition, STS has a strong
 presence in each of its other served markets and distributes its process
 solutions worldwide through an experienced sales and service operation. The
 Group currently markets in over 30 countries and has an installed base of over
 750 systems. For more information about STS please see .
     About Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd.
     SPP has expanded from their core field of aerospace products into a
 diverse range of industrial markets, such as heat exchangers and heat-control
 systems, industrial machinery employing hydraulic control, cryopumps, ozone
 generators and their own unique motion sensors. Having begun supplying
 equipment for semiconductor manufacturing in 1986, SPP purchased STS in 1995
 and currently retain approximately three quarters of the shares after the
 flotation of STS on the London Stock Exchange in 2000.

SOURCE Surface Technology Systems plc

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