SMART.mat launched to exploit 'smart' technology
SMART.mat, the new DTI initiative to help UK industry exploit 'smart' technology was launched on 19 January by Science and Innovation minister, Lord Sainsbury, at a high-profile event at the Science Museum in London.
SMART.mat brings together UK research and industry through a consortium comprising the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre) and QinetiQ. The consortium will develop virtual networks and associated activities to promote the exploitation of smart materials, surfaces and structures in support of UK businesses, with the aim of stimulating wealth creation and economic growth.
The project has been established as part of the DTI's plans to strengthen the UK capability in the commercial exploitation of this area of technology, which to date has been restricted by the fragmented nature of the science and technology base and the concentration of Smart technology development in the aerospace and defence sector.
SMARTmat is part of the DTI's Materials Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), also launched today. The Materials KTN brings together all the existing materials networks under one umbrella to ensure optimum opportunities for collaboration, optimisation of resources, best practice and provision of a one-stop shop for materials advice and expertise to UK manufacturing and service providers.
'Smart materials technology has made significant progress over the last five years supported by various government programmes. However, the UK is still relatively poorly positioned world-wide and further action is needed to consolidate the UK's science and technology base' said Robert Quarshie, Operations Director of the Materials KTN.
Membership of the SMARTmat network will be sought from all individuals and organisations with an interest in this field, and will specifically target manufacturing companies that span the supply chain. It will also focus attention on activities that will actively seek to involve SMEs.
Notes to Editors
Membership of the SMART.mat network is free, and provides access to free conferences and seminars, grants to develop smart technologies and ideas, and impartial advice from Otechnology translators'.
IOM3: David Arthur at David.Arthur@iom3.org
QinetiQ: Laura Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org
NAMTEC: Helen King at email@example.com
Materials KTN: Dr Robert Quarshie at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Materials KTN is built on the former Advanced Materials Forum and includes the Faraday partnerships of Advance, Plastics, Packaging, Powdermatrix and Technitex, as well as the National Composites Network and SMART.mat. For more details visit http://www.materialsktn.net
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