Editorial Feature

The City of the Industrial Revolution Hosts this Year's ESOF

Leading industry experts, innovators and scientists travel to the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Manchester, to attend the annual 2016 European Science Open Forum (ESOF).

This year, ESOF attracted over 4,500 influential speakers, exhitbitors, and visitors to Manchester Central, where together they discussed current and future breakthroughs in Science. Running from 24th-27th July, the event was jam-packed with talks, exhibitions, tours and insights with panels of experts from all fields of science.

This year’s motto was ‘Science as Revolution’ and the event promised to focus on past, present and future science. With topics such as Living in the Future, Material Dimensions and Sustaining the Environment, the event guaranteed to have many opportunities for attendees and exhibitors to engage and learn more.

The Home of Graphene

As part of ESOF, AZoNetwork were able visit The Home of Graphene at the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, a £61 million state of the art research facility which hosts influential researchers and specialists who are at the forefront developing new projects with Graphene.

                                                                                         wattana|Shutterstock

The tour guide for the evening, Business Director of the Graphene Institute, James Baker showed the guests around the facility giving everyone a chance to witness the new and exciting projects that they are currently working on. Projects included a Graphene composition drone developed by Haydale and an F1 car which contained Graphene composite making the car lighter at a 30% reduced rate. Unfortunately test drives were not part of the tour!

                                                                                               Haydale Drone

                                                                  F1 car containing Graphene composite

The tour then descended below ground to the clean rooms and labs where the magic of graphene takes place. James directed the tour around the air-compressed labs, explaining the research they are currently developing with graphene.

Day two of AZoNetwork’s visit to ESOF kicked off with back to back talks on a wide range of subjects. The AZo Team managed to attend a wide variety of lectures hearing from many industry specialists. All talks aimed to showcase their topic area, stimulate and engage the audience. The talks allowed the audience to pose questions to the speakers, sometimes sparking an interesting debate.

The panels ranged from Bringing Nature Back to the City, Bio Economy and the Artic as a Hot Topic. For those interested in material science the 4 day event also covered Material Challenges, Mass Spectrometry and 2D Materials. The AZo Team where lucky enough to attend some of the talks including Protecting the Environement for the Future, Will 2D Materials Change the World and Developing Cognitive Robots that Help Humans.

Exhibitions

ESOF was much more than just discussions with industry experts and lectures, it was also an opportunity for exhibitioners to showcase their research, products and latest discoveries.

Attendees had the opportunity to experience virtual reality with Spark who attended the conference alongside the University of Salford. Exhibitioners included Manchester Airport, who demonstrated a model of the future airport, The Science Council, The Low Carbon Hub and The University of Manchester.

Another exciting exhibitioner at ESOF was Cisco showcasing their Sensor City which aims to revolutionize the future of transport. With Sensors across the city you can check from the comfort of your driveway whether there is heavy traffic or an accident. Long gone are the days of driving around the carpark searching for a space, the Cisco Sensor city will alert you to a space as soon as you pull in.

Last But Certainly not Least

The day rounded off with the final lecture being presented by the 2010 Physics Nobel Prize winner, Professor Kostya Novoselov. The professor presented how 2-D materials research would generate a revolution in real world applications. The final lecture of the day also saw Professor Frank Koppens deliever a presentation explainging how Europe can compete in making graphene products a reality. The lecture also saw a panel of experts debate the challenges of graphene and 2-D Materials and the diffculties they face within the market.

Where Next?

ESOF next year will be hosted in Toulouse, France. Will we see you there?

More from ESOF

Mychealla Rice

Written by

Mychealla Rice

Mychealla graduated from Northumbria University in Newcastle with a 2:1 in Journalism with English Literature. Mychealla is a keen traveller, spending time in Australia, Thailand and Italy. Mychealla plans to see more of Europe in the future. Mychealla’s interests include photography and music. In her spare time, she likes to go shopping and visit family and friends back in Ireland.

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