Wed, 27 April, 2022
This year saw the realisation of TWI's flagship conference focused on collaborative projects on 7-8 April 2022. Supported by the TWI Innovation Network and hosted at TWI’s headquarters in Cambridge, UK, Research for Impact: R4I 2022 brought together around 100 attendees from the scientific and technological community.
The 2-day event was centred around successful project collaboration, so the esteemed speakers' goal was to educate and inform attendees on various topics by exemplifying existing-working cases. For example, the conference offered ways to attract public funding and private investment, presented the current UK funding prospects for tech and engineering R&D projects, and shared tips on exploring the full potential of the Horizon Europe and Horizon Results Booster programmes.
The R4I 2022 conference was co-moderated by TWI's Heidi Dyson, Group Manager, Public Funding Management and Tat-Hean Gan, Director of Innovation and Skills. The first day commenced with a short introduction by Aamir Khalid, CEO of TWI, demonstrating how TWI has built an expanding network of £1.2 billion in research, with examples of cutting-edge technologies as results of successful research projects. Additionally, Humbert Mozzi, Chair of TWI's Council, provided an insight into the TWI approach to technology exploitation and marketability.
Alongside a range of interesting presentations, the event shed light on specific projects like ISOPREP – a cost-effective process for the upcycling of end-of-life plastics, GEODRILL – a holistic technology for geothermal drilling and IMPHORAA – a quantum leap seeking to amplify the use of renewable nano-grids in Madagascar and the Philippines. Moreover, in parallel to the conference, an exhibition showcased a number of publicly funded collaborative projects. TWI Hellas was also present through two informational banners on their Horizon 2020 projects, Sleekship – Spectral Imaging Powered Ship Hull Biofouling Detection and Cleaning, and Kyklos 4.0 – An Advanced Circular and Agile Manufacturing Ecosystem based on rapid reconfigurable manufacturing process and individualised consumer preferences.
Last but not least, there was the option to attend pre-booked, in-person meetings with members of TWI's Technology Innovation Management team to get valuable industry advice and much-needed guidance about public funding in support of technological innovation. Overall, the first post-pandemic, in-person R4I conference was a strategic crossroads for the industry and scientific community, as well as a bright point of departure for new collaborative projects to come into existence.