The Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials (Royce), based in the UK, has called for the establishment of a national steering group for digital materials and manufacturing to help accelerate the development of digital approaches to materials science.

‘The need for digitalisation within materials science and innovation is stronger now than ever, given that advanced materials will be key to almost all the major challenges we face over the next decade and beyond,’ the institute said. ‘However, developing new materials has always been seen as a slow, risky, and expensive process, and 20-year development cycles are not uncommon for safety-critical applications. Therefore, if the UK is to stand a chance of meeting its 2050 net zero commitments, there is an urgent need to bring the new materials required for net-zero technologies into service within the next five years.’

According to Royce, the industry could be helped by adopting Materials 4.0, a way of improving design and process by sharing and storing data more effectively. Plans are also to focus on robotics and remote processing.

‘Materials 4.0 would revolutionise the way we discover, develop and manufacture new materials and proposes a digital materials revolution to accelerate the discovery, innovation, and validation of new materials,’ said Professor Iain Todd, scientific lead at Royce.

This story uses material from the Henry Royce Institute, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.