Leaders from Greater Manchester’s advanced materials and manufacturing community learned more about some of the city-region’s most cutting-edge research and development facilities on a recent visit.

Members of the Graphene, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Alliance (GAMMA) Provider Network toured the Henry Royce Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University’s PrintCity and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Innovation Centre, and The University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC), on Friday 21 April.

The purpose of the visits was to better align the support each partner provides to their private sector customers, and to make the signposting and coordination of the assets of the Greater Manchester ecosystem much clearer for businesses, helping them to better scale and grow.

The tour ended with a roundtable session where partners discussed opportunities to further develop the connections made and continue to build a more connected innovation ecosystem.

GAMMA is leading the delivery of the city-region’s Local Industrial Strategy for sustainable advanced materials. It aims to create a super-cluster in the North of England, focused on advanced materials and industrial digital technologies to support advanced manufacturing in its transition to net zero.

The ambition is to drive the development of a more productive, sustainable, highly skilled, and innovative industry. GAMMA is helping create a more connected innovation ecosystem for GM’s advanced materials community, which will ultimately help businesses scale and grow more effectively.

Greater Manchester is home to globally significant advanced materials research facilities, including the Henry Royce Institute, the national home for advanced materials research. The University of Manchester has one of the largest university schools of materials in Europe, as well as the GEIC, which specialises in the rapid development and scale-up of graphene and other 2D materials applications.

Manchester Metropolitan University is home to the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre, which is focused on developing new, clean electrolysis and fuel cells, and PrintCity, a 3D additive and digital manufacturing centre.

GAMMA is working with an array of partners to build a more connected innovation ecosystem which is more than the sum of its parts, and to make this sustainable for ongoing innovation in a modern economy. Future visits to advanced materials facilities at the University of Salford and University of Bolton are being planned.

The visits Manchester Metropolitan University’s facilities were led by Carl Diver, Director at PrintCity, and Amer Gaffer, Director at Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre.

The University of Manchester tour was hosted by James Baker, CEO of the GEIC, and Ania Jolly, Head of Research and Business Engagement.