Advanced materials research and innovation hub opens

10 September 2021

UKRI CHIEF executive, professor dame Ottoline Leyser has opened the Henry Royce Institute Hub building, the UK’s advanced materials research and innovation hub.

Based at The University of Manchester, the £105 million Royce hub building hosts state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for biomedical materials, metals processing, digital fabrication and sustainable materials research.

The new facility, which has been supported by UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is designed to catalyse industry engagement, and accelerate the development and commercialisation of advanced materials.

Professor Leyser unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of the building, which will be home to 400 researchers, PhD students and staff.

Professor Leyser comments: "The Henry Royce Institute will play a key role in the UK’s research and innovation ecosystem, bringing together industry and academia to connect innovation and discovery in advanced materials, and develop the material science skills needed for the innovation economy.

"This Institute will deliver impact across the UK – from the new materials needed to realise our net zero ambitions to novel biomaterials for personalised medicine."

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng adds: "The UK has a globally competitive advantage in advanced materials and manufacturing and our new Innovation Strategy sets out our ambition to capitalise on our unique capabilities to fire up our economy.

"Backed by government, this new multi-million-pound centre at the Henry Royce Institute will provide state-of-the-art facilities for the UK’s most innovative researchers to drive forward advanced materials research and commercialise new technologies and products that could help transform whole industries, from life sciences to renewable energy."

EPSRC executive chair, professor dame Lynn Gladden, says: "Advanced materials are integral to the UK’s net zero future and economic growth, through zero-carbon and resource-efficient technologies that will impact on everything from our electronic devices to aeroplanes.

"The government’s Innovation Strategy highlighted advanced materials as one of the seven key technology families, and the Henry Royce Institute will be at the forefront of efforts to deliver on the strategy’s ambitions."

Professor David Knowles, Henry Royce Institute CEO adds: "The Royce Hub offers a unique combination of materials science expertise, state-of-the-art laboratories and fantastic collaboration space. We can now start working with the whole UK community, developing the next generation of materials scientists, driving innovation with industry and engaging with the public, supporting the UK in sustainable growth and development."