Nanotechnology and advanced materials may feel like they are the stuff of sci-fi and comic books, but scientists and engineers all around the world are figuring out how to use 2D materials like graphene and leap these technologies forward so we can solve some of the biggest challenges we face.
Connecting the UK and Spanish nano and advanced material industries
When the opportunity to lead a Bilateral Mission between the UK and Navarre, Spain came up, I was thrilled. I know just how significant the UK’s capabilities are in both nano and advanced materials are - and my team and I have been hearing about the possible matches with industry and academic organisations in Navarra for a while.
Building capabilities beyond the UK
Here in the UK, we have been building our innovation capabilities in nanotechnology and advanced materials, with our Catapults, universities and institutions like Royce, NPL, TWI and NCC.
It is important to me to make sure we position these capabilities so UK companies can continue to access new markets and supply chains in Europe and beyond. We also know that the complexity of the landscape which makes the development of new products and concepts, a monumental effort.
This means that through new collaborations and knowledge sharing UK companies can be better placed to gain the commercial advantage that new niche products will bring. The Navarre region in Spain has a wealth of similar and different capabilities, organisations and assets – a perfect complement to each other.
A unique opportunity to make new contacts for UK business
At the event from the UK were representatives across different areas of expertise including composites, sol-gel technology, materials processing, nano base textile dyes, carbon nanomaterials, graphene. Also featuring were core competencies, such as pilot lines, up scaling, characterization and nano safety. All of which were matched brilliantly by our Navarrian counterparts.
It is not often that your hopes for an event are completely surpassed with a great number of conversations started and contact details exchanged.
Just the start of collaboration between the UK and Navarre
And so the Bilateral Mission came to its end, with new contacts and partnerships initiated. And this is just the start as Izaskun Goñi Razquin, DG for Economy, Business Policy and Labour says:
As Jacqui says, the atmosphere of collaboration was exceptional from the first moment. I would like to point out that the UK is the most important partner for Navarrese universities and technological centres in R&D projects and look forward to working together to exploit all the exciting future opportunities that exist
Follow me on Twitter: @jacquimurray25
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