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UK Opens New Materials Research Hub

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CEO of UK Research and Innovation opens new Henry Royce Institute Hub Building at Manchester University

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, CEO, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has officially opened the £105m Henry Royce Institute Hub Building at The University of Manchester. This new UK centre for materials research will cover nine key areas, one of which is 2D materials including metals and semimetals, insulators, ferroelectrics, magnetics, and semiconductors with versatile mechanical, electronic, optical and thermal properties.

The building hosts £45 million of new state-of-the-art equipment alongside existing facilities in Manchester for biomedical materials, metals processing, digital fabrication, and sustainable materials research, including the new Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Alongside this is a variety of collaboration spaces for industry engagement, helping to accelerate the development and commercialisation of advanced materials.

During the event, Carol Holden OBE, from the Northern Automotive Alliance presented on the Royce role in industrial innovation and Mia Maric, winner of IOM3 Young Person's Lecture Competition talked about her Manchester PhD experience and the benefits of using Royce's equipment and expertise in her research.

The Royce Hub Building in Manchester sits at the centre of the Institute's national Partnership with eight other leading institutions - the universities of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Liverpool, Leeds, Oxford, Sheffield, the National Nuclear Laboratory, and UKAEA.

Leyser said: “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.”

The Royce Hub Building and new equipment totalling £150 million forms part of the wider £235m investment by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council part of UK Research and Innovation across Royce's national partnership. Investment has also be made by The Wolfson Foundation to support the biomedical materials facility within the building, alongside ERDF funding for the SMI Hub, representing a wider investment of C. £330 million.

Royce's presence in Manchester extends well beyond the new building; it also has substantial space and equipment in the Alan Turing Building, along with facilities in the National Graphene Institute, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and at the Dalton Nuclear Institute. Soon it will also extend its reach into the new Manchester Engineering Campus Development - the MECD - which is the single largest home for engineering in any UK university.

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