Counting down to the Materials Research Exchange

MRE 2024 will once again explore a diverse range of materials innovations when it returns to the Business Design Centre, London 23 – 24 April.

More than 1,500 materials innovators and investors, researchers, academics, as well as representatives from industry and government, will come together for Innovate UK’s flagship Materials event. The Henry Royce Institute is once again the Headline Sponsor, and will present the Royce Conference on the afternoon of 23rd April.

Professor Dave Knowles, Royce CEO said:

“The Materials Research Exchange will once again provide the Henry Royce Institute with an excellent national platform to engage in important conversations with the materials innovation community. Our conference on the first day will put the spotlight on the multidisciplinary aspects of our subject and show how materials science is unlocking potential in key areas from engineering biology, through to plastics sustainability and the development of materials for extreme environments with a line-up of fantastic speakers.

“As well as focussing on such National Materials Challenges and our exciting, newly developing major collaborative programmes  such as DMex, CEAMS, SMI Hub and Economiser, we’ll be talking about the important first phase of the National Materials Innovation Strategy which is aimed at ensuring the UK has a world-leading position in rapidly expanding materials markets – supporting researchers and innovators to commercialise their discoveries”

Robert Quarshie, Director of Technologies & Healthy Living and Materials lead at Innovate UK KTN,

MRE 2024 is an opportunity to network with the entire UK materials ecosystem. Not only will delegates learn about all the latest materials R&D and funding initiatives, but they’ll also have chance meetings with potential partners and investors.

“In that way, MRE really is a catalyst for change. It’s the place where the UK’s research and innovation excellence in materials meets the world of UK product manufacturers and forward-thinking investors.

“As it’s our tenth anniversary, MRE 2024 will be bigger and better than ever before. Excitingly, they’ll be representatives from Innovate UK, EPSRC, and the Royce Institute playing key roles in the event, meaning projects at any stage of the pipeline will be able to talk directly with someone who can help them.”

The Royce Session will start at 1.30pm on 23 April with a welcome from Prof. David Knowles, CEO Henry Royce Institute

1:40-2:30pm: Theme 1 Sustainable Materials, including Foundation Industries

  • Introduction to The Centre of Expertise in Advanced Materials and Sustainability (CEAMS) – and the Foundation Industries Sustainability Consortium (FISC), Prof. Bill Sampson, Chief Scientific Officer, Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre.
  • Development of In-line Inspection and Characterisation Capability to Enable Reuse of Continuous Carbon Fibre from Hydrogen Pressure Vessels, Jack Alcock, Technology Programme Manager, National Composites Centre.
  • Pulplex: Delivering Sustainable Fibre Bottles at Scale, Justin O’Keeffe, Innovation and Technology Partnerships, Pulpex.
  • The Gaps between Material and Innovation – Why Advanced Materials may not be the Answer to Net Zero, Dr Sarah Glanvill, Lead Materials Scientist, Renishaw.

3-4pm: Theme 2 Critical Technologies: Engineering Biology and Semiconductors

  • Biocatalytic Making and Unmaking of Materials, Dr Lu Shin Wong, Senior Lecturer and Group Leader, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester.
  • Surfaces and Materials meet Biofilms: A Cross-Sectoral Challenge, Prof. Rasmita Raval, Professor and Co-Director of National Biofilm Innovation Centre (NBIC), University of Liverpool.
  • The UK Semiconductor Strategy and How Royce is Playing its Part, Prof. E Linfield, Director of the Bragg Centre for Materials Research, University of Leeds.
  • UKRI Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) REWIRE: Inventing, Prototyping and Commercialising High Voltage Power Semiconductor Electronics, Prof. Martin Kuball, Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies, University of Bristol.

4:10-5:30pm: Theme 3 Materials for Demanding Environments

  • An introduction to the Defence Materials Centre of Excellence (DMEx), Prof. Phil Withers DMEx Interim Director, Laura Jones DMEx Interim Associate.
  • Materials Challenges for Hydrogen Containment, Andy Bushby, CTO, Ultima Forma Ltd, Professor of Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London
  • Testing Methodologies for hydrogen-fueled aviation, Dr Francesco Fanicchia, Senior lecturer in High Temperature Surface Engineering, University of Cranfield.

As well as the usual informative and exciting cross-cutting presentations and panel discussions, this tenth anniversary edition of MRE will feature four flagship initiatives:

  • Circular Critical Materials Conference: A series of talks delving into the Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains Programme and the UK’s Critical Minerals Strategy
  • Reimagining Materials and Manufacturing Showcase: A look at the tech that will help the UK become a world-class destination of choice for advanced low-carbon manufacturing, as set out in the Materials and Manufacturing Vision 2050 report
  • GRIPS: The Global Research and Innovation in Plastics Sustainability conference, exploring the intersection of materials science with sustainability and innovation in plastics
  • Investor Showcase: A spotlight for investors on materials innovators from both cutting-edge projects from UK universities, and established companies

We look forward to seeing you there!