A SPECIAL bra which helps detect early signs of cancer was just one of the University of Bolton innovations outlined to business leaders at a networking lunch.

The bra works by detecting minute heat changes in the breast and the bra then alerts the wearer to see a doctor, according to University of Bolton Vice- Chancellor Dr George Holmes, pictured.

He was outlining some of the university’s highly regarded work in so-called smart textiles where the university is regarded as in the top three in the world.

Dr Holmes was speaking at the quarterly Bolton Professionals Curry Club lunch which was being sponsored by the business recovery and insolvency team at CLB Coopers.

The assembled businessmen and women were surprised to hear that the university has developed a range of smart textiles, including auxetic material, which expands rather than contracts when stretched which could be useful in a number of applications.

He said that the university has also expanded overseas, especially in the UAE, where it has its own large fully equipped campus.

The university also awards degrees to students who follow Bolton degrees in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Malawi. Lecturers from Bolton fly in to the countries as and when needed.

The university has worked hard in establishing links with local businesses and wants to expand contacts with firms for both students and staff.

Dr Holmes added: “At the university our emphasis is on education for careersminded graduates looking for employment in the future.

“We are very interested in working with employers because students need to know how to work with, and interact with, potential employers.

“And I am also keen for the university staff to have more contact with employers so they are up to date on what is going on.”

Phil Stevenson, from KBL, said: “It’s been a terrific opportunity for the professional community to learn more about how successful the University of Bolton in our midst has been.

“It’s good for the business community in Bolton to know that there are opportunities for the university to support companies.”

The professionals’ curry club was set up as a joint enterprise by KBL solicitors and RSM Tenon to provide a convivial quarterly talking shop for Boltonbased business professionals.

The events have become useful for networking and listening to guest speakers’ opinions on the world of business and finance and how Bolton can benefit.

Future speakers will include representatives from Media City and MIDAS, among others.