Royce has welcomed the Government’s new UK Innovation Strategy: Leading the future by creating it which sets out plans to cement the UK’s position as a world-leader in science, research and innovation.
Royce stands ready to play a key role the delivery of this important strategy and in turn support UK industry to innovate and meet its net zero commitments.
The report, launched by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on 22 July, sets out seven technology families of “UK strength and opportunity” including Advanced Materials & Manufacturing, and states:
We need materials that can survive in the harshest conditions, allowing us to dig at the bottom of the ocean and to transport the fuels of tomorrow. Learning to manufacture these materials at scale and incorporating safety and sustainability into their design and innovation is as important as their discovery and development. This effort is essential to unlocking innovation across all major industrial sectors.
The new Innovation Strategy also sets out four key areas that underpin the Government’s vision to put innovation at the heart of building back better. These are:
Unleashing Business: fuelling businesses who want to innovate by ensuring effective access to private and public investment.
People: creating the most exciting place for talented innovators.
Institutions and Places: ensuring R&D institutions serve the needs of businesses and promoting innovation in places across the UK.
Missions and Technologies: stimulate innovation in technology and missions that will provide the UK with a strategic advantage and will be critical to tackling some of our greatest challenges.
These areas align with Royce’s own mission pillars of foresighting and convening the research community, providing world-leading facilities open to the whole of the UK, delivering skills development and training, and providing a network and ecosystem to accelerated translation of technology.
Professor David Knowles, Royce CEO said:
“We very much welcome this important Innovation Strategy, and that Advanced Materials and Manufacturing is highlighted as one of seven technology families where the UK has globally competitive R&D and industrial strength. This sits alongside related families in Digital/AI, Electronics, Photonics and Quantum, Energy and Environment Technologies and Robotics. These are all areas which share many overlapping technical opportunities, indeed advanced materials represents an underpinning capability for many Energy and Environment Technologies ranging from photovoltaics to fusion reactor operation.
It is also great to see Government highlighting the importance of missions and technologies, as well as institutions and place. All of this links directly to the technology roadmaps we are developing and the strong focus we have on developing regional capabilities in materials such as our Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub. We’re pleased to see that going forward, Government funding programmes will be less bureaucratic and quicker to provide support to for great ideas. We’re now looking forward to supporting the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and UK Research and Innovation in operationalising this through a national advanced materials strategy, linking with wider research networks, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) and industry”
Royce recognises that the technology families represent a starting point for prioritisation and, importantly, the Missions and Technologies will be determined by the new National Science and Technology Council, supported by the Office for Science and Technology Strategy. The Institute is ready to support this approach, and has begun a programme of comprehensive landscaping and roadmapping in collaboration with the wider materials community, to demonstrate, in detail, how cutting-edge materials science and engineering are playing a key role innovation and the transition to net zero.
These roadmaps show that many next generation materials are already showing great potential, and our challenge is to accelerate their translation through to production at scale. The roadmaps are an important vehicle to develop and define progammes of agreed research and are cross-cutting across the key national imperatives we face. They include:
- Materials for the Energy Transition
- Materials for End-to-End Hydrogen
- Materials 4.0: Digitally-enabled materials discovery and manufacturing
In the coming weeks we will be publishing a further two in the areas of: