Greater Manchester’s expertise in advanced materials and the role they will play in building greener and more equal cities are set to be discussed at an upcoming event.

Hosted jointly by the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), MIDAS and leaders in 2D materials research at The University of Manchester, Material Gains: Building cities that are better for people and the planet will take place online on Monday 19 April (2pm to 3pm).

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester and GM LEP board member, and James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester, a world-leading innovation ecosystem which includes the National Graphene Institute (NGI) and the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC), will share their visions for Greater Manchester’s future.

Dr Beenish Siddique, founder and CEO of AEH Innovative Hydrogel, an award-winning company based at the GEIC which has used graphene to develop a soil alternative that responds to plants’ nutritional needs, and Tim Newns, CEO of MIDAS, Greater Manchester’s inward investment agency, also join the panel.

Click here to register.

The event will be hosted by Alok Jha, science correspondent for The Economist.

Speakers will fast-forward to 2038 in Greater Manchester, exploring the innovation that has enabled the city region to deliver green growth while addressing inequalities.

Pre-pandemic, Greater Manchester had 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.

The opportunity goes beyond shaping the future built environment, identifying sustainable energy sources and solving transport challenges.

New products and services built around advanced materials could create thousands of new skilled jobs in industries which are only now being imagined.

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, said: “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.”