Royce appoints expert project team to develop National Materials Innovation Strategy

The Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials has appointed an expert team comprising ScotCHEM, Perspective Economics and Urban Foresight to engage stakeholders across the materials science community in the development of a new National Materials Innovation Strategy.

The three organisations will span a project which encompasses three significant integrated work programmes:

  • National Materials Innovation Strategy Development and Programme Management– including the delivery of a final, publishable report spanning a wide variety of materials domains, and strategic plan (ScotCHEM)
  • An Econometric Study including a report and background database to provide essential information and input to support the business case for implementing recommendations from the Materials Innovation Strategy (Perspective Economics)
  • Development of a suite of compelling public reports setting out key highlights and actionable recommendations for materials domain stakeholders in identified priority areas (Urban Foresight)

Following several months of consultation, the underpinning Framework for the Strategy has already been designed in consensus with the materials sector.  This new project team will expand on this Framework and will work across the research community to develop both the econometric data and the wider underpinning evidence necessary for scoping, definition and appropriate groupings of:

  • National and industrial sector priorities including trends and drivers, market needs and industrial sectors
  • Key application and process developments to which materials innovation can contribute via value-creation opportunities
  • Material innovations to support these applications and processes and further highlight needs for cross-sector collaborations
  • The associated non-technological supporting enablers such as skills development, regulation and finance

The project team will work under the direction of the new Materials Innovation Leadership Group which was announced last month, and which has been established by Royce to oversee and champion the development of this important new Strategy that will tackle the major challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the UK.

Chair of the new Materials Innovation Leadership Group, Allan Cook CBE said:

“Our ambition is to make sure that the brilliant material science foundation we have in the UK can, through innovation, evolve into new products and services that meet national priorities. We therefore need to encourage further sustained innovation and collaboration at every stage and across every part of the community including government establishments, academia, and research performing organisations (RPOs) and of course industry. 

“This important strategy development will support the UK to unlock this innovation, and to secure leadership in materials technologies that will underpin prosperity, resilience and growth for the future.

“The newly appointed expert team, under the direction of Royce CEO Professor David Knowles, and the newly formed MILG, will be critical in bringing together the evidence base and ultimately the recommendations and actions which we believe will help us to deliver a much more coherent approach across Government, industry and the wider materials technology community.”

Development of the Strategy will run from now until the end of 2024, with the first stakeholder workshops being planned for later this year.

Materials underpins manufacturing, and the UK is one of the largest global manufacturing nations, contributing £203 billion every year to GVA and supporting 5 million jobs. 84% of this manufacturing takes place outside of London and the South East.

Royce is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and this project is part of Royce’s remit to enable national materials research foresighting, collaboration and strategy