Building better cities, thanks to Manchester’s advanced materials expertise

Experts from The University of Manchester will be leading a virtual event to discuss Greater Manchester’s leadership in advanced materials – and how this could shape cities of the future.

The event, hosted jointly by The University of Manchester, Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, and inward investment agency MIDAS, Material Gains: Building cities that are better for people and the planet will take place online on Monday, 19 April (2pm to 3pm).

A panel of industry and research leaders will discuss how the new technologies being pioneered in the city could play a role in building greener and more equal cities in the future. Speaking at the event will be:

Alok Jha (Chair), science correspondent for The Economist
Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester
James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester
Dr Beenish Siddique, founder and CEO of AEH Innovative Hydrogel, which is pioneering a new vertical farming system using graphene
Tim Newns, CEO of Midas, Greater Manchester, inward investment agency

Pre-pandemic, Greater Manchester had already set an ambitious target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2038. The city-region now has an opportunity to influence global innovation through its specialist expertise and world-class assets in advanced materials.

Panellists will fast-forward to 2038 to explore the new products and services built around advanced materials that have enabled green growth and addressed inequalities in the city.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester and GM LEP board member, said: “Our Local Industrial Strategy envisions Greater Manchester becoming one of the world’s leading regions for researchers and businesses to develop and adopt advanced materials.

“The city-region already has world-leading capabilities and facilities and we have an important role to play as we look to a low carbon future.”

James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester, added: “Graphene and advanced materials have a huge role to play in making our buildings, our infrastructure and our transport not only significantly greener but demonstrably smarter.

“As we look to the meet the climate change challenge and aim to ‘build back better’, I am convinced we need to explore with more urgency on how advanced materials can provide the building blocks for an exciting new future.”