Over 20 SMEs from the Cheshire and Warrington region attended the Greater Innovation for Smarter Materials Optimisation (GISMO) virtual launch event on Thursday 24th September.
The webinar introduced the three themes covered by the project – Additive Manufacturing, Chemicals & Hydrogen, and Surfaces & Coatings – which were introduced by the three GISMO Innovation Fellows, followed by a question and answer session.
Armin Yousefi Kanani kicked off by introducing Lancaster University’s state-of-the-art technology and capabilities in additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing). The University’s impressive facilities allow for the processing of polymers, carbon fibre composites, and metals, accompanied by computer aided design and manufacturing.
Dr Julien Doulcet discussed how synthetic organic chemistry can be useful for SMEs interested in improving materials, catalysis, and making their products and processes greener and more sustainable. The project offers opportunities in the use of hydrogen waste in catalytic processes, reaction and process optimisation, and a range of analytical tools including mass spectrometry, microscopy, chromatography and more.
Finally, Dr Alex Robson covered the capabilities of surfaces and coatings, which represent a multi-billion pound industry in the UK and can enhance multiple material properties. They are applied to products as diverse as contact lenses and drinks cartons, and the current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for anti-microbial and anti-viral coatings to reduce potential surface contact propagation.
A Q&A session followed the event, with questions regarding facilities and capabilities offered by GISMO, as well as questions about funding. The project is part-funded by ERDF and is free to eligible companies.
In addition to problem-solving, concept-proving, testing, and prototyping, GISMO has a number of graduate-level research projects of interest to businesses designed to develop expertise in the three themes covered by the project. Student interns will also be made available to help businesses solve problems and research new ideas.
Our next event will take place on Friday 27th November focusing on surfaces and surface analysis, with GISMO Innovation Fellow Dr Alex Robson. Click here to find out more and book.