Our Research Framework
Our Research Framework is founded upon our eight focused Research Areas (RAs), with each RA supported by a series of Technology Platforms. Together, these provide the expertise, capability and facilities to support innovative research around the UK in making, validating and interrogating materials and accelerating their transition through the early stages of discovery.
Such research is linked to both national and global initiatives, namely Transition to Zero Carbon, Sustainable Manufacture, Digital & Communications, Circular Economy as well as Health & Wellbeing – collectively described as Royce’s “Drivers”.
Within this Research Framework, National Materials Challenges set the strategic context for action, and stimulate materials research that meets national and global needs. These Challenges are framed through Royce, in collaboration with the UK materials community. In partnership with this community, Royce builds Research Roadmaps aligned to these challenges, clarifying the technology gaps which need to be addressed, to support a national research business case.
Led by our Research Area Leads (RALs), who provide strategic leadership and community building, the eight Research Areas which sit within the framework represent the strategic, collective research strengths and focus within Royce. These core areas, again reached through consensus, are aligned into critical UK sectors, as well as being central to economic growth and sustainability.
The underpinning Technology Platforms are groupings of Royce cutting-edge facilities and expertise. Each one also has a Technology Platform Lead responsible for developing and enhancing the facilities and supporting related research activities which utilise Royce equipment.
Royce Mission Drivers
The Royce research framework is particularly designed to support the materials community foster collaboration and to drive scientific impact. The Research Areas work closely with other aligned Research Technology Organisations (RTOs) and institutes – including UK Catapults, networks, hubs and overseas entities. The development of such networks enables the Research Areas to evolve and reflect changing national priorities; each one has a Steering Group with representatives from right across this materials eco-system, beyond Royce Partners, to guide the activities of each area to best achieve its vision.
Technology Platforms are also aligned to other National Research Facilities to exploit opportunities through combining capabilities across Partners. For example Royce co-location with the National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF) project has resulted in the UK having a unique continuum of dedicated research facilities able to handle non-active through to highly-active nuclear materials.
Royce also hosts the new National Research Facility for X-ray Computed Tomography (NXCT) at its Hub Building in Manchester, creating a strong link between Royce and the EPSRC’s network of National Research facilities.
The Framework underpins our mission which is to support and grow world-recognised excellence in UK materials research, accelerating commercial exploitation, and delivering positive economic and societal impact for the UK.