Materials IGT Engages Community

Further to the announcement late in 2004 of the intention to establish an Innovation and Growth Team (IGT) for the materials community, an official launch event was staged in London on 26 January by the DTI. Jacquie Smith MP underlined the significant impact that materials would play within the government's innovation agenda, and said she hoped that the IGT's work could signpost the future priorities of the community. The IGT, which is co-ordinated through an Advisory Board and chaired by Wyn Jones, Managing Director, Alcan Smelting and Power UK, has established five separate task groups. These groups will cover the community's strategy development for Science and Technology, People and Skills, Best Practice, Assets and Infrastructure, and Policy and Impact. The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is actively involved in the support of the Materials IGT providing secretariat assistance to two of the task groups and co-ordination/administration of the Advanced Materials Forum.

Over 150 delegates attended the London-based launch event, which included presentations from the chairmen of the individual task groups. Break-out sessions in the afternoon provided an opportunity for further clarification of the community's views. Each of the task groups will form a community team to provide further information for a final report to be published in November 2005. The capabilities of the web-based Advanced Materials Forum were also demonstrated. This web portal, accessed at www.amf.uk.com, will be regularly updated with IGT information and will be used by each task group to provide discussion groups and virtual meetings.

Summarising the events of the day, Wyn Jones commented that the materials IGT is both a challenge and an opportunity for the broad materials community. There are arguments to suggest this community is vast, and it will be difficult to offer a fine focus for needs that other IGTs have provided. Despite this width of scope, materials developments are pivotal to the success of UK innovation and the achievement of breakthrough across a wide range of policy areas. The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is actively involved in the support of the Materials IGT providing secretariat assistance to two of the task groups and co-ordination/administration of the Advanced Materials Forum.

For more details contact: Jackie Butterfield.



Date Posted: 3 March 2005

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