The Sir Henry Royce Materials Institute

Shaping the future of materials for advanced manufacturing

  • Clear message of “Let’s work together” as leading industry and academics joined forces to begin shaping the scope of the Sheffield wing of the Sir Henry Royce Institute co-located with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing High Value Manufacturing Catapult
  • The Royce Institute will be a world-leading facility for the discovery and translation of new materials that offer our manufacturing industry breakthroughs in their process and product performance
  • The University of Sheffield’s wing, building upon our prestigious materials research, will focus on materials for advanced manufacturing and powder based processing and will be a key part of the plans for the UK’s first Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District in Sheffield.

Royce Event

More than 130 industry representatives and academics meeting at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre took part in an early forum for industry and business to help shape the scope of the nationally-focused Royce Institute.

With speakers from world-leading companies such as Rolls-Royce and GKN Aerospace, delegates heard how the £235M Sir Henry Royce Institute announced in the Government’s Autumn Statement, which will be led by the University of Manchester together with a satellite wing in Sheffield and supported by other Universities, will accelerate the translation of research into materials for advanced manufacturing and provide growth to the entire UK manufacturing base.

Professor Richard Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield, says: "The Royce Institute isn’t just a place where ideas are born, it is a place where things will get done. It will drive economic growth in the north of England by connecting our prestigious academic base in materials science with industry to design new materials, make new products and develop new processes. Through this we can drive down the cost of manufacturing products and make our industries more competitive on a global scale."

Outlining the overall strategic aims of the Royce Institute, Professor Colin Bailey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Manchester, added: “Getting materials to market can often take more than twenty years, we know that we can half that with the UK’s expertise in materials research. However, what was missing was a facility to design and test new materials and accelerate these getting to market. This is what the Royce Institute will do.”

The event also heard from Rolls-Royce, one of the industrial stakeholders consulted in the early development of the Royce Institute. Neil Glover, Head of Materials Technology for Aero Gas Turbines at Rolls-Royce added: “The global aerospace industry is reliant on the technology and materials we need being there in 2020 and beyond; we can’t do this in isolation which is why we work with leading universities such as those involved in the Royce Institute to develop the products and processes we need.”

Providing the context of the importance of a globally-competitive manufacturing base here in the north of England, Diana Buckley, Economic Strategy Manager for Sheffield City Council outlined the vision for an advanced manufacturing innovation district in Sheffield and Rotherham. “Translational research is one of the most transformative tools universities have. When universities get this right – as demonstrated by the AMRC – you find the best companies in the world will come to you to solve their problems. Through translation research we can attract global research partners and investors, increase UK competitiveness and design new materials and products that will kick start whole new markets. Our Innovation District will create places and spaces that enable innovation ecosystems to develop and enhance our global reputation for advanced manufacturing across the world.”

The event marked a key milestone in the development of the Sheffield wing of the Royce Institute in terms of embedding the needs of UK advanced manufacturing companies, a process that continues with the development for this exciting anchor Institute in Sheffield’s advanced manufacturing Innovation District.