New £4.4 million programme gives material boost to businesses in Cheshire and Warrington

Businesses across Cheshire and Warrington are being invited to take advantage of a new project that puts world-class ‘smart materials’ expertise and facilities at their fingertips.

The support comes from the newly launched £4.4 million Greater Innovation for Smarter Materials Optimisation (GISMO) project, delivered by Lancaster University and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

‘Smart materials’ can be reactive to their environment and can respond to thermal, biological, chemical, mechanical, electric, and magnetic stimuli by changing shape, position, stiffness and other characteristics. These advanced properties can enable new and improved products and components, as well as adding significant value to commodity materials and products.

GISMO will help Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to improve the performance of surfaces, coatings, bulk materials and chemicals in their products and processes and to develop their capabilities in additive manufacturing – commonly known as 3D printing.

The programme provides businesses with fully funded access to the experts and a cutting-edge suite of specialist equipment in the Materials Science Institute at Lancaster University – one of the UK’s highest ranked universities.

Professor Rob Short, Director of the Materials Science Institute, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this programme. GISMO provides businesses across Cheshire and Warrington with an excellent opportunity to enhance their research and development capacity by working closely with our experts at Lancaster University. And conversely, it provides my staff and I with a wonderful opportunity to work with SMEs.

“Our knowledge of the latest developments in materials and our state-of-the-art facilities can help businesses to improve the effectiveness of their products and processes, test and develop materials, find new materials and formulations, trial new processes and technologies and develop and build prototypes.”

Businesses can find out more about how GISMO can help them at an online launch event which takes place on Thursday, 24 September between 10am to 11.30am.

The webinar will help business leaders think about how smarter use of materials can help them to gain an advantage in a post-Covid world. Participants will be introduced to some of the latest developments in materials science and to the expertise and facilities available through GISMO.

The event will provide opportunities to find out about the full range of free support available and to meet and ask questions of Lancaster University’s materials experts.

GISMO project manager, James Stancombe, said: “The project is open to businesses across all sectors in Cheshire and Warrington. We can help whether you aim to break new ground, exploit emerging technologies, make the most of your existing approach or to solve a pesky problem.

“Even if you want to put your products and processes to the test or simply find out about the latest developments in materials, we encourage you to take part in the webinar to find out more.”

Register for the event online here