An £81 million facility dedicated to developing advanced materials has officially opened in Liverpool, boasting one of the highest concentrations of materials science and automation robotics in the world.
A collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Unilever, the Materials Innovation Factory aims to bring together materials chemistry expertise with the latest robotic equipment to accelerate the development of new products.
The 11,600 square metre facility in the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter will provide laboratory and office space for university researchers and Unilever scientists, as well as other industrial users.
It also houses the Liverpool contribution to the Henry Royce Institute - the national institute for materials science research and innovation.
Research at the facility will span the fields of organic and inorganic materials, nanomedicines, sustainability, genomic sequencing and high-throughput formulation.
Opening the facility on 5 October, President of the Royal Society and Nobel Laureate, Sir Venki Ramakrishnan said:
“The strength of material science in the North West is, to a great extent, built on the collaboration between academia and industry which is so well embodied in the Materials Innovation Factory.
“Whether it is human health, sustainability or a range of other areas, advanced materials offer tools by which we can tackle some of the big challenges we face on the global stage. The range of expertise here in Liverpool can make a big contribution to meeting those challenges and to driving economic growth.”
Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, added:
“The applications for our research in this area are truly exciting, with the potential to answer some of the greatest challenges facing the world today in fields such as sustainable energy, healthcare and manufacturing.”