Ceram Demonstrates the “Appliance of Science” to Royal Society

Some of the world’s most eminent scientists visited Stoke-on-Trent last week.

Fellows from the Royal Society visited materials technology business Ceram to investigate ways of improving links between academic science and industry.

The Royal Society has about 1,450 Fellows and Foreign Members, including more than 80 Nobel Laureates. It was founded in 1660, and founding members included Christopher Wren and Robert Boyle.

Tony Kinsella, Chief Executive of Penkhull-based Ceram, said: “The Royal Society has a rich history, but it is extremely forward-thinking.

“One of its priorities is to consider the commercial implications of what they do and to work with businesses to maximise the benefits for society as a whole and for the UK economy.

“That is absolutely vital. In a global marketplace, innovation will be critical for UK plc. The Fellows were really impressed with what they saw at Ceram and we were extremely proud to have them here in North Staffordshire.”

Professor Anthony Cheetham FRS, Vice President and Treasurer of the Royal Society and Goldsmiths' Professor of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge, said:

"It was fascinating to see the research and development that Ceram is undertaking which has the potential to benefit a wide range of sectors from ceramics to construction.

“As the UK's national academy of science, the Royal Society is looking to expand its activities that support the translation of scientific progress into economic and social benefits. We hope to further collaborate with Ceram to bring together others in the materials sector across academia and industry, so that the economy can derive maximum benefit from innovations in this important area."

Ceram applies its materials expertise in ceramics, metals and polymers to sectors including healthcare, construction, ceramics, aerospace and power engineering.

The visitors learnt about Ceram’s partnerships with industry to improve products, processes and efficiency. They also saw a commercial-scale kiln that was completed in May with the help of about £2 million from the Regional Growth Fund.

The kiln is piloting revolutionary technology that could cut energy costs for the ceramics industry by up to 30 per cent.

Now the Royal Society is considering holding a meeting for industry leaders at Ceram’s Stoke-on-Trent headquarters in the near future.

Ceram works with customers across the world and it has sister companies in the U.S. and Europe. It employs more than 120 people in North Staffordshire.

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