The Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC), the UK’s innovation broker in materials chemistry, this week attended Innovate UK’s Materials Research Exchange and Investor Showcase (MRE).
The two-day conference, hosted at the Business Design Centre in London, saw a large proportion of the UK’s materials community come together to engage in talks, seminars and an exhibition exploring key topics in materials science today, such as composites and batteries. The UK boasts a hub of excellence and know-how in advanced materials, and the sector’s growth is thought to be a key driver in the success of the future UK economy. Exhibitors comprised of representatives from universities, institutes and industry, including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), and the new Henry Royce Institute for Materials Science Research and Innovation.
At the event, KCMC was able to promote its work in accelerating R&D collaboration between business and academia in the chemistry-using industries to a highly relevant audience. Exhibiting alongside the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) - a KCMC partner and the process arm of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult - KCMC promoted and explained its new links to the development of innovative materials technologies at CPI’s facilities. KCMC also took part in the exhibitor pitches, with Sohail Hajatdoost, Knowledge Transfer Manager based at the University of Bristol, taking to the stage to showcase the role of KCMC in advancing materials innovation.
Particular highlights of the event for the KCMC team included The Faraday Institution’s presentation on its solid-state battery research, and how the University of Liverpool is leading key activities in materials discovery and degradation. Another highlight included hearing from Tom Taylor, Senior Industrial Innovation Manager at CPI, who in his talk mentioned how working with KCMC is advancing CPI’s academic connections for innovation.
John Conti-Ramsden, Director of KCMC, said: “This event was a good opportunity for us to highlight the benefits of the recent transfer of KCMC hosting to CPI, and to help build new networks on materials innovation challenges for the future.”
Ron Swart, Knowledge Transfer Manager for KCMC, based at Southampton University, said: “It was a great, well-organised event that was very relevant to materials chemistry today. It was very beneficial to be able to meet and talk with exhibitors from industry, and for them to engage with key academic centres, including the academic partners of KCMC.”