Henry Royce Institute to Launch Sustainability Hub

Posted on Posted on 7 May 2020

The Henry Royce Institute will be launching a £10m sustainability hub to support Greater Manchester SMEs with plastics innovations.

The Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials research and innovation has been awarded £5M from the European Regional Development Fund to launch a £10M Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub (SMIH) for Greater Manchester.


Greater Manchester, a region with a growing industrial and economic footprint, has clean growth at the core of its economic ambition and the Innovation Hub demonstrates its commitment to delivering the technology necessary to support this aim.


The SMIH, to be located on the 6th floor of the Royce Hub Building, will support small to medium businesses from across the whole of GM to find sustainable innovations to waste management and more sustainable plastics. By bringing together material science expertise and business intelligence to offer a defined workflow of ‘Advice’, ‘Assess’ and ‘Innovate’, the SMIH will help businesses to understand where they can make efficiencies, realise opportunities and avoid unintended consequences in their plastics management.


In the Royce Hub Building, three interlinking laboratories will be equipped with capability to characterise, synthesis and process polymers, facilitating innovation in new sustainable polymers, improved methods of recycling, and validation of emerging sustainable materials that appear on the market.


The ability to develop new plastics and recycling infrastructure is also underpinned by an understanding of the behaviours of individuals and businesses that may inhibit innovation adoption. The programme of advise, assessment and innovation will thus incorporate collaborative social science research to help businesses make informed choices to sustainable solutions.


The SMIH will be led by Director Michael Shaver, Professor of Polymer Science at The University of Manchester and Lead for Sustainable Materials for the Henry Royce Institute. The investment in the SMIH represents The University of Manchester’s dedication to environmental sustainability. The Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub will be a key driver in delivering Royce’s vision of Advanced Materials for a Sustainable Society. The SMIH will support SMEs from across Greater Manchester like Dsposal who use tech to simplify waste compliance and promote industry transparency.

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