First Innovation Pavilion at UK Metals Expo
Innovate UK worked with UK Metals Expo to successfully highlight transformative technologies in the metals sector at the first Innovation Pavilion.
The exhibitors in the pavilion were all early-stage companies covering a wide range of technologies. They all agreed it was an extremely valuable experience to raise awareness of their technology and meet valuable contacts.
The metals industry, like the other foundation industries, is essential to achieve our Net Zero obligations. For example, steel is critical in wind turbines, aluminium in electric vehicles, copper in an increasingly electrified world to name a few. The UK has a long heritage in metals production and maintaining the supply of these materials into the future will be crucial for the long-term sustainability of industry and the economy. As highlighted by Stephen Kinnock in the opening of the UK Metals Expo 2023, a poll showed that 78% of the UK public consider steel to be a strategically important product that should be produced here in the UK.
Transformation of the industry is needed to truly benefit from the opportunity from the transition to a green economy. Since it’s formation in 2020, the UK Research and Innovation Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge delivered by Innovate UK has been supporting the metals industry, and other foundation industries, work together to solve their common challenges. In that time, much progress has been made and the UK Metal Council report published at the show, showed the sector is largely (68%) optimistic about future prospects.
This optimism is perhaps reflected in the growth of the UK Metals Expo from it’s first year in 2022. The seminar sessions bring thought leaders discussing the key issues that face the industry. As the event develops, it provides a great platform to highlight some the game-changing technologies that will transform the metal sector into the future and the support Innovate UK is providing in this area.
At the Innovation pavilion, we hosted 7 innovators with cutting-edge technologies with applications in the metals sector:
- Binding Solutions Limited – enabling cleaner and more efficient metals production
- Reliable Insights – data capture and analytics for systemic business insights
- Nanomox – sustainable advanced material particles for widespread applications
- C2 Technology – innovative solutions in energy recovery, saving, storage and renewables
- Deep.Meta – AI for circular and more efficient metals production
- Metals Without Mining™ – Recovering critical raw materials from waste without costing the earth
- Aeramine – copper refinement to 5N grade and beyond
The broad range of technologies on show somewhat demonstrates the breadth of the technologies that Innovate UK have supported related to the materials sector. As well as the exhibition, the innovators all presented in the dedicated Transformative Technologies: The Big Pitch session to help raise awareness of their technology and company.
The feedback from the exhibitors in the Innovation Pavilion and UK Metals Expo was very positive. According to their feedback, the innovators all found it a very beneficial experience for several reasons:
- They met many attendees of the show who, due to the targeted nature of the event, understood the potential applications for their technology. Several exhibitors stated they were honestly surprised at the level of interest. All exhibitors agreed the contacts they made were relevant and useful, including potential customers, collaborators, and investors.
- They networked with fellow exhibitors both in the Innovation Pavilion and at the wider exhibition, as well as the Innovate UK team, to understand more about potential collaboration and grant funding opportunities.
- With a steady stream of attendees over the two day event, the companies had the opportunity to succinctly convey their technology to different people and develop their communication, which was valuable exercise.
Without the support of Innovate UK, the companies would not have this opportunity but due to the success most of the exhibitors are considering exhibiting separately next year.
We were very proud to partner with Innovate UK to create the Innovation pavilion and highlight the innovation in the metals sector. Finding out more about innovation is very important to our audience. This partnership was a huge opportunity for our attendees to meet innovative and new companies that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to exhibit. The UK Metals Expo is growing rapidly, the audience was twice that of the first year in 2022, so we want to include the innovators in our journey. We hope to build on the success in 2023 for the future.
– Jason Franks, Managing Director of UK Metals Expo
The Innovation pavilion helps demonstrate the broad range of support that Innovate UK is providing to innovators across the UK and technology areas. Innovation is essential for the required transformation towards net zero. If you want to find out more about the support for the metals sector, contact Chris Pilgrim.