UK materials research and innovation enabling growth in key supply chains

Posted on: 17/01/2018

The Materials Research Exchange & Investor Showcase 2018

Conference and exhibition on March 12/13 2018

The 2018 Materials Research Exchange & Investor Showcase (MRE2018) taking place on March 12th and 13th 2018 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, will provide an excellent platform to help develop commercial success of UK-generated materials innovation by showcasing the groundbreaking new materials and processes to industry to accelerate the process of taking these through to commercialisation. Meet investors, inform and be informed by industrial strategy and network with the entire materials landscape, from academics to spin-outs to SMEs and product designers to manufacturers and users – all under one roof!

This two day conference and exhibition will highlight the many applications of materials research and advanced materials innovation. There will be a series of seminars and workshops demonstrating the scope of current developments in advanced materials including a technology focus on key application areas such as aerospace, robotics, automotive, energy, health, defence and sustainable construction, value creating opportunities provided by materials and design and engaging the creative industries. Hear from some of the UK’s leading experts, investors and innovators in a conference programme that is designed to showcase cutting-edge innovation across key supply chains and through different sectors.

The last celebrated Materials Research Exchange event in 2014 was highly successful and the 2018 event promises to be even bigger and better with over 600 delegates expected daily. Organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK and supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Dstl, this unique two day exhibition and conference will showcase the richness of the UK materials research and investment opportunities providing an ideal opportunity to absorb current trends and take a glimpse of future innovations. This is the ideal event to build links within the materials supply chain to strengthen the UK materials offer to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and End Users. So book early to avoid disappointment and join over 900 delegates who have already pre-registered to attend. Note Рfree delegate early bird offer ends January 31, 2018.

A call for exhibitors for this event is open and closes January 30th – please get in touch to find out more about the package of benefits available.

Photo galleries are not available for content from the previous KTN website: we apologise for this.

Key notes

Day one plenary session

Chaired by Sue Dunkerton OBE, Director, Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)
Keynote Speakers: Dr Ruth McKernan, CEO, Innovate UK
Prof. Philip Nelson, CEO, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Rebecca Endean, Director of Strategy at UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)

Industry Q&A
Chaired by Stuart McDill, freelance broadcaster and journalist, and including Andrew Hosty, Sir Henry Royce Institute

Day two Closing Address 
Simon Edmonds, Manufacturing & Materials, Innovate UK
Chris Warkup, CEO, Knowledge Transfer Network

And more names are still to be announced!

Selection of seminar streams day one – March 12, 2018

Exhibitor Pitches 
Selection of MRE18 exhibitors will pitch live on stage to showcase their innovation to the audience. An opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors to gain valuable insights and form new business relationships in advanced materials.

Materials for Aerospace Challenges
Led by Mark Summers, Aerospace Technology Institute

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) was established as a collaboration between Government and industry; to create the UK’s aerospace technology strategy, advising and challenging the sector through £3.9 billion of secured R&T investment, to ensure the UK retains its global competitive position. The Institute’s mission is to help the UK realise the opportunity available of capturing a valuable share of the growing global civil aviation market.

The session will focus on civil aircraft material challenges that are being addressed through the current research portfolio or have been identified as key opportunities for future investment. The session will identify architecture requirements that impact material choices through whole aircraft efficiency, performance, and operating cost targets. Additionally, industrialisation aspects will be analysed with respect to optimising production efficiencies through the smart application of materials and processes.

Composites for automotive applications – innovating towards market acceptance
Chaired by Innovate UK

A panel of industry experts will present and discuss the topic of automotive composites including current state of the market, recent innovations and achieving market penetration at scale. Panel members: Alan Banks, Commercial Vehicles, Ford; Paul Gallen, Sector Lead Automotive, National Composites Centre and TBC.

Materials for Defence Challenges 
Led by Laura Jones, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) ensures that innovative science and technology contributes to the defence and security of the UK. Dstl delivers, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence Chief Scientific Adviser, the Materials for Strategic Advantage (MSA) Programme.

This session will provide an introduction by the MSA Programme team to the niche defence challenges being tackled through investment in Materials Research and Development. However, many developments addressing these important defence challenges will also have civil applications. This session will provide an insight into some of the projects supported with MSA funding which also have exploitation opportunities in civil applications.

Materials for Robotics and Autonomous Systems 
Led by Phil Williams, Knowledge Transfer Network

HiPerNano2018: Nanomaterials for Energy
Facilitated by Tatiana Correia, Knowledge Transfer Network

HiPerNano2018 is a forum which brings together nanotechnology solution developers and end-users with engineering challenges to solve. This year, this event will showcase the latest developments and innovation in nanomaterials, which promise to revolutionise the way we create and use energy. Who should attend? Engineers, manufacturers, researchers and students, SMEs and large companies.

Evening drinks reception with canapes & Prize Awards

Selection of seminar streams day two – March 13, 2018

Materials Cohort Presentations 
Facilitated by Ben Walsh, Innovate UK

Selection of short materials cohort presentations from SMEs discussing their latest materials innovation. Meet the current and next generation of innovators, see the breadth of projects currently happening across the materials sector and the scope of innovation. Develop links within the supply chain and establish future collaborations.

Advanced Materials for Growth
Facilitated by Richard Gunn, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Join some of the leading researchers in the UK to discuss the latest in advanced materials research: from smart coatings to additive manufacturing, sensing to therapeutics, and much more. Hear short presentations from EPSRC’s cohort of Advanced Materials Fellows for Growth and join the discussion on how cutting-edge research is creating new opportunities for growth.

Infocus: Women in Innovation
Facilitated by Tatiana Correia, Knowledge Transfer Network

Men are three times more likely to own a business with employees and women in the UK are half as likely to start a business. Only 7% of British inventors on GB patents were women in 2000-2015. Infocus Women in Innovation campaign aims to increase the current levels of women in innovation and entrepreneurship in the UK, and ultimately boost the UK economy by encouraging more diversity in business. This session will showcase role models in materials innovation, challenge perceptions and discuss barriers to engaging in innovation and how to overcome these.

Design for Materials Commercialisation
Led by MaDE Chaired by Ben Griffin, Design Lead, Innovate UK

Hear from the people who bring materials to life by designing innovative products – from medical devices and consumer goods to luxury cars and smart textiles. What role do designers really play in product development? How do they find and select materials? Could they help bring your new materials to market?

Investor Showcase 
Facilitated by Lynne McGregor & Nick Cliffe, Innovate UK (closed event)

The most exciting ideas and innovative solutions can arise at the intersection of technologies from different sectors. With advanced materials cross-discipline approach, the showcase is uniquely designed to provoke outside the box thinking.

The exhibition is at the heart of the showcase, providing the perfect opportunity to network with all of the conference attendees. Book your exhibition space now before January 30th to ensure that you don’t miss this great opportunity raise your profile.

You can find out more about the Materials Research Exchange 2018 here.


The call for exhibitors is open just now and ends January 30th. There’s a full package of benefits and opportunities.

The FREE delegate early bird registration offer ends January 31st.

Share this article


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.