Government National Technology Adviser visits Royce Hub Building

In February the Government’s National Technology Adviser Dr Dave Smith visited the Henry Royce Institute Hub Building in Manchester, with a particular focus on understanding the Institute’s role around the development of game-changing materials with applications across a range of diverse sectors including manufacturing, construction, electronics, energy, transport and health.

As National Technology Advisor Dr Dave Smith advises the Secretary of State for Science Innovation and Technology on the best approach to building and enhancing the UK’s technology strengths, working across government to champion the science and technology industries, and build networks across industry and academia to draw the best minds into policymaking.

Royce CEO Professor David Knowles took the opportunity set out Royce’s mission and provided an update on the newly developing National Materials Innovation Strategy:

 “We were delighted to welcome Dave to the Royce Hub and to be able to show him the type of innovative research we’ve supporting across Royce. We discussed his own remit which is around really harnessing the potential of UK science and technology and ensuring that we are using it to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face.

“We also had a productive discussion around some of the early findings coming out from the National Materials Innovation Strategy, not least the challenges of commercialising new materials innovations, the barriers that get in the way of their adoption and use in a range of sectors and how we might overcome them.”

Dr Smith then toured some of the Royce Hub’s cutting-edge facilities including Floor Four of the Hub Building where ground-breaking research is advancing the potential of 3D tissue engineering through bioprinting – the precise depositing of biomaterials such as cells and proteins in 2D or 3D which mimics biological systems that are close to the actual living systems for research, testing and diagnosis.

He then took a tour of some of the labs in the Photon Science Institute (PSI) which is home to much of the Royce imaging and characterisation capability, providing access to large scale facilities for X-ray imaging and tomography, electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, and laser mass spectrometry. A key Royce Research Area “Atoms to Devices” is made possible by equipment within the building, particularly the development of “photonic materials”, and the electronic devices that can be made from them which are essential to many areas of technology.

This part of the tour included a visit to the TANIST Lab – state-of-the-art equipment dedicated to the development of automated in-situ testing.  The TANIST is the first fully automated system that can conduct thermal and mechanical testing while undertaking microstructural observations at an unprecedented resolution.

Special thanks go to Jen Adcott, Experimental Officer Royce; Jia Naveed Experimental Officer Royce; Dr Jessica Boland,  Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester and UKRI Future Leader Fellow; and Dr Jack Donoghue, Senior Technical Specialist (EBSD and in-situ testing) at the University of Manchester.