Sir Peter Gregson reflects on some themes arising from the July Governing Board Meeting

Talking Points from the Chair

In this second in the series of Talking Points, Sir Peter Gregson, Henry Royce Institute Chair, reflects on some key themes arising from the July Governing Board Meeting which took place at the Royce Hub Building at the University of Manchester

An Influential Community

Our Governing Board meetings really highlight the important role of Royce in bringing together an influential community embracing academia, industry and government. At the heart of this community are those individuals who are working most closely with Royce and who we are in the process of designating as Royce Affiliates. Our Affiliates will shape our culture and further strengthen the influence of Royce as a National Institute for Advanced Materials for a Sustainable Society.

Powered by Partnerships

Our Board meeting took place at the Royce Hub Building; the nine story building allows ‘science on show’, with scientific facilities being visible to engage passers-by. We also took the opportunity to visit the Photon Science Institute (PSI) which is part of the University of Manchester’s engagement with the Royce partnership. Once again, research collaborations within Manchester and with other organisations within and beyond the Royce partnership were on display. I’m also very much looking forward to visiting the state-of-the-art facilities in the new, exciting Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) next time we’re in Manchester.

Excellent Facilities 

In June the University of Leeds officially opened its Sir William Henry Bragg Building. Royce’s work at Leeds is now co-located with the Bragg Centre for Materials Research and focusses on manipulating materials at the scale of individual atoms, thereby contributing to the Royce Atoms to Devices research theme.

Since our last Governing Board meeting at Oxford, I’ve had opportunities to visit Royce facilities at Cambridge, Imperial, Sheffield and Liverpool. At the University of Liverpool, the Royce platforms hosted within the Materials Innovation Factory focus on high-throughput discovery via a combination of in silico modelling, computational design, and machine learning techniques, thereby contributing to the Chemical Materials Design Research theme.

Exploiting our world-class research facilities to solve the challenges faced by industry is the focus of one of the strands of Royce’s emerging Translation Strategy and we look forward to the appointment of our new Application Scientists to enhance our capability in this area.

As we learn of EPSRC’s commitment to fund the Royce Phase 2 proposal, I pay tribute to the work of our CEO Dave Knowles and all on the Executive Team; we welcomed Dr Ania Jolly as our new Head of Research and Business Engagement and Louise Botley as new Head of Operations. 

Royce continues to develop as a National Institute: An influential community, powered by partnerships and providing access to excellent facilities to academia, government and industry in the UK and beyond.

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