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Materials

The Materials Team in KTN covers a broad scope of the materials life cycle, from feedstock, processing techniques, design and manufacture, testing, standardisation, resource efficiency and circularity.

Materials

The team has strong engagement with the entire value chain, from academic researchers, materials developers through to end-users who make products from these materials and businesses who manage end-of-product life issues.  We add value in making the connections that matter.

Materials underpin many applications in our economy. Innovative materials science, engineering and technologies make direct and positive impact on economic growth, the environment and quality of life, through improved processes and products, throughout their lifecycle. The impact of materials is forecast to be even greater as businesses respond to the growing trend in electrification of transport, the drive towards net zero emissions and a comprehensive digital economy.

As a team, we work with industry to make sure that new developments in materials find a useful home to improve the UK economy, environment and quality of life. We bring together the materials supply chain to accelerate innovation, improve productivity and ensure resilience in meeting the needs of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end users.

Our current focus in this area

UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN)

The UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN) aims to bring together the diverse users of plastic products and realise the best means for reducing plastic waste entering the environment through a programme of networking and knowledge-sharing events and related support activities.

Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging

The Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging activity at KTN is proactively driving engagement and collaboration as part of the core programme of the UKRI ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge (SSPP).

Foundation Industries

Situated in our industrial heartlands, these sectors include metals, ceramics, glass, chemicals, paper and cement, producing 28m tonnes of material per year, and are worth £52bn annually to the UK economy.

Composites

Composite Materials consist of two different materials different physical and chemical properties. When they are combined, they create a composite material which has superior properties to the original two materials.

Technical Textiles

Textiles are everywhere in modern society. Technical Textiles are defined as materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical and performance properties rather than their aesthetic or decorative characteristics.

2D Materials

Graphene and other novel two-dimensional (2D) materials have sustained strong interest from academia and industry owing to their unique combination of material properties. These properties, which include strength, thermal and electrical conductivity, are found to be superior to those exhibited by other advanced materials.

Metamaterials

Metamaterials are artificial composite materials, engineered to exhibit unique electromagnetic properties. Metamaterial devices are poised to grow to $10.7 billion globally by 2030 in 5G networks, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and more.

Smart Functional Materials

Smart Functional Materials are defined as those materials that change significantly one or more of their physical or chemical native properties when subjected to changes in their environment, thus rendering them stimuli-responsive.

Ceramics & Glass

Ceramics and glass materials exhibit high strength, high elastic modulus and are electrical and thermal insulators. Advanced ceramics and glasses are engineered to optimise its mechanical, electrical, magnetic and optical properties.

Funding Opportunities

Horizon Europe Cluster 4: Digital, Industry and Space

Horizon Europe has a wide variety of open calls for digital, industry and space, with over €150m total funding. Current open calls in cluster 4 relate to 2D materials, graphene, robotics and AI.

Opens: 22/12/2021 Closes: 16/11/2022

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Innovate UK Smart Grants: April 2022

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing, commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. It must be an innovative, disruptive, ambitious, world-class solution, with no similar technology commercially available anywhere in the world.

Opens: 25/04/2022 Closes: 27/07/2022

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SBRI: Fusion Industry Challenges - phase 1

Organisations can apply for a share of £2 million, inclusive of VAT, to develop solutions to encourage innovation in the fusion industry, through the use of novel and innovative heating and cooling systems, materials, manufacturing and technologies.

Opens: 09/05/2022 Closes: 22/06/2022

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Events

Thu
5
Nov
2020

Engage with…Department for International Trade: mine to magnet-supply chains for critical material

15.00 - 16.00 | Online

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Tue
15
Mar
2022

Global Research & Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) 2022

09.00 - 16.30 | Online

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Tue
16
Mar
2021

Global Research and Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) 2021

09.00 - 17.00 | Online

Watch Now

News

04.03.2022

Young Innovators Success Stories: Anna Watkins, Uncommon Alchemy, North West

Soon after Anna Watkins secured the Young Innovators Award she identified a key issue with her innovative idea to produce a sustainable alternative to leather from seaweed.

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09.05.2022

Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) returns for the summer

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has today (9th May) launched a further competition window for applications to the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF).

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Programmes related to Materials

View all our programmes

Metamaterials Landscape Map

Connecting the value chain of the UK Metamaterials community with industry, research expertise and business support to drive commercialisation.

Learn More

Net Zero Chemicals Landscape

Connecting the UK’s growing Chemicals community with industrial collaborators, research-base expertise, investment opportunities and funders.

Learn More