Tristram Hunt MP welcomes Royal Society to Ceram

The Royal Society is visiting Ceram today (28th June), to discuss the possible ways to improve links between academic science and industry. The meeting is being facilitated by local MP, Tristram Hunt.

“We are absolutely delighted to be hosting the Royal Society.  Since Wedgwood and Spode’s experiments with porcelain production and glazing techniques in the late eighteenth century, Stoke-on-Trent has long known the merits of connecting up academic science and industry,” says Mr Hunt.

“Today that relationship continues with the work of Ceram, and growing connections between local manufacturers and Keele, Staffordshire and Manchester universities.  The insight offered by the Royal Society can only help to build those bridges between blue skies research and commercial application so vital for our future competitiveness.”

The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy for science, recognises that innovative science is the bedrock for industry to translate into new products with commercial and social benefit. Via its science and industry programme and halfway through the Royal Society’s ‘Year of Science and Industry’, the Society aims to understand and respond to the needs of industry.

Professor Anthony Cheetham FRS, Vice President and Treasurer of the Royal Society and Goldsmiths’ Professor of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge, says: “By visiting Ceram today, we hope to discover new ways in which the Royal Society can enhance its support for industrial science. The goal of the Royal Society’s science and industry programme is to identify and to help overcome any barriers between our world class science base and industry. We are well aware of the challenges that face the UK’s economy, but we hope that our activities can stimulate a cultural shift that will increase the flow of ideas and investment between academia and industry.”

Tony Kinsella, Chief Executive of Ceram, says:  “I think that this visit is both opportune and critical for ‘UK Plc’. Too often governments are beguiled into funding technologies that are looking for problems to solve and, although a necessary part of pushing the boundaries with fundamental research, this approach does not, on its own, create growth in the short- and medium-term.

“Investing in applied technologies, ‘the appliance of science’, to solve organizations’ problems by adapting existing technologies can create significant market differentiation in the short term, leading to an increase in revenues and employment.  Working with industry to gain insights, and then responding to those insights with solutions, is fundamental to this.

“I am sure that the exchange of insights and views with the Royal Society can only assist the development of such approaches.

“Tristram Hunt is demonstrating clarity of vision in facilitating what I hope will be the first of many such meetings.”

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