A Turning Point for the Materials Industry?

Fighting back following an extraordinarily disruptive year, the next crucial step will be taken in the wake of an enormous level of ongoing unobserved activity, which drives innovation, industry, research and academia.

Image Credit: The Advanced Materials Show

The Advanced Materials Show and Ceramics UK will be seen promoting all these splendid efforts and will serve as the most crucial stepping stone for the industry in the year 2021.

For many people, it is evidently a highly anticipated moment. According to Johannes Homa, CEO, Lithoz, “Ceramics UK is a very important show for us this year. After more than a year without any physical event, we are very keen on meeting customers again in person. This is the key trade fair for us in the UK. It brings together not only the relevant people from the UK, but also from Europe and hopefully also from other parts of the world.”

It has perhaps never been more important for essential industries—such as medical, chemicals, energy storage, automotive, communications, aerospace, renewables, electronics and construction—to achieve huge strides with respect to productivity, quality, environmental management and sustainability.

Progress in Advanced Technologies

Image Credit: The Advanced Materials Show

The advanced materials community is  ready to play its role in supporting manufacturers to produce their systems, products and structures faster, lighter, highly efficient and cleaner.

Progress in a wide range of advanced technologies from healthcare to aerospace depends … on the availability of new materials with the properties required to trigger step changes in performance,” noted Prof Eduardo Saiz Gutierrez, Director, Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics (Imperial College London).

The problems are complex and will often require imaginative solutions. Users also need to know what is available and how to design and build parts with the advanced materials at hand. We need forums like The Advanced Materials Show in order to open communications channels between all parties involved. Bringing people together in order to formulate the needs and discuss the solutions is essential.

Eduardo Saiz Gutierrez, Professor and Director, Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics, Imperial College London

Although last year’s restricted environment presented the industry with its most extreme challenges in several decades, it has also resulted in a surge in interesting technological developments, together with the imaginative development of various enhanced Tier 1/Tier 2 supply chains.

James Baker, CEO of [email protected], echoes this: “When the full impact of Covid became clear, fears were expressed that a slowdown in innovation would result. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the case, as evidenced by my own team’s response.”

As we go forward, we will be dealing with a ‘not-normal normal’, a hybrid approach that will reflect how we have adapted to alternative communication strategies and have successfully grasped other such opportunities. It’s clear to me that in all this, there will be a vital role for advanced materials in improving outcomes.

James Baker, CEO, [email protected]

Future Prospects

Image Credit: The Advanced Materials Show

All this backstage work means that for the manufacturing industry, the future should be much more agile, flexible and responsive. This consideration could possibly feature notably at the launch of various initiatives at the NEC in July 2021.

The materials industry as a whole will evidence a mass attendance experience on how all the strands of new thinking can be pulled in unison together to be able to make the most of innovation, high level research, manufacturing and Industry 4.0 competencies.

We really need this event…it will accelerate positive development in this sector,” added Johannes Homa.

The Advanced Materials Show and Ceramics UK will play a pivotal role in investigating the role of battery and fuel cell technologies, specifically in view of the United Kingdom’s ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

There will rightly be increased emphasis around the sustainability and net-zero agenda across a number of sectors that are central to these events, such as aerospace, automotive, construction and energy,” explained James Baker. “The discussions we will initiate will positively influence important manufacturing partnerships and collaborations, including those involving SMEs, start-ups and scale-ups.”

The platform has been configured for an ideal synergy on this front, with major developers and suppliers of ceramics and technical materials exhibiting their most recent products, along with international leaders in battery cells/systems and vehicle electrification participating in two other co-located shows.

Undoubtedly, both raw and processed materials will have a great influence on how energy storage technology can satisfy the challenges facing it—with regards to, for example, energy density, capacity, recycling, charging times, optimization of cost and its role in the circular economy.

There is an opportunity for technical material manufacturing to embrace the ongoing revolution in green technologies, and by doing so dramatically reduce the environmental costs associated with continuous material production. The long-term performance of specialist technical material solutions has encouraged similar attraction from a wide cross-section of industrial areas.

Ben Melrose, Technical Director, International Syalons

For all those who will be participating at the NEC, their interest is sure to get boosted.

Stage Set for The Advanced Materials Show and Ceramics UK

Image Credit: The Advanced Materials Show

Faster preparations for the shows started in February 2021 and a major stimulus was the UK Government’s declaration that the next generation of pioneering inventors will be supported by a new £800 million independent scientific research funding body, the Advanced Research & Invention Agency (ARIA).

The ARIA group of eminent, world-leading scientists will be given the responsibility of financially supporting high risk research that provides the chance of rich rewards, backing highly innovative discoveries that could be life-changing.

Besides other initiatives announced earlier, this announcement implies that the United Kingdom is on target to achieve the expenditure of 2.4% of GDP on R&D across its economy by 2027.

ARIA will trial run funding models, such as prize incentives, program grants and seed grants, and will be in a position to start and stop projects based on their success, thus redirecting funding where it is essential.

The agency will exhibit a considerably higher tolerance for failure than usual, realizing that in research, the freedom to fail is usually also the freedom to succeed.

While planning, experimenting, reshaping and reacting to varying imperatives, that kind of freedom is not a bad motto for The Advanced Materials Show and Ceramics UK either. The scientific community looks forward to exercising it.

In the words of Prof Saiz Gutierrez, “It is important to have a place where all professionals working in the field can meet regularly ... the place where you go because you know that ‘everybody will be there’—from the researchers to the end users.”

The Advanced Materials Show, Battery Cells & Systems Expo and Vehicle Electrification Expo will be held on July 7th and 8th, 2021, NEC UK. To avail more information and for free registration, users can visit: https://advancedmaterialsshow.com/why-attend/.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by The Advanced Materials Show.

For more information on this source, please visit The Advanced Materials Show.

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