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Stellar speakers join catalysis showcase

22 January 2020

Professor Duncan Wass and speakers from the 7th annual conference
Professor Duncan Wass (right) and speakers from the 7th annual conference

International experts from business and academia helped the UK’s top catalysis centre celebrate its 7th annual conference.

Cardiff Catalysis Institute’s showpiece event brought together specialists to share ideas and advances in the science of chemical change.

Among the speakers were Nuria Lopez, Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia; Glenn Sunley, BP Group Research, and Chloé Thieuleux from the University of Lyon.

Angelika Brückner, from the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis, delivered the Dr Peter Williams Memorial Lecture.

“Four of the six external speakers at this year’s event were women,” said Professor Duncan Wass, Director of Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI). “Broadening our appeal, our science and our work with industry will form a major focus for CCI in the years ahead.”

Created with an initial £2.8m investment from Cardiff University, the Institute has developed areas of expertise including photocatalysis, renewable fuel synthesis, and exhaust after-treatment, while maintaining a global reputation in catalyst design.

Under the leadership of Professor Wass, the Institute will find a new home in the University’s Translational Research Facility on Cardiff Innovation Campus in 2021.

“Catalysis is a vibrant area of research that is crucial for many current industry sectors and will be even more critical in delivering translational research to enable clean growth,” said Professor Wass.

“The Translational Research Facility will give us the tools to broaden the science of catalysis, help us engage more readily with industry, funders and policy makers, and allow us to broaden our membership to engage with multidisciplinary researchers who bring complementary expertise and opportunities.”

Conference guest speaker Professor Glenn Sunley, from BP, said, “This meeting highlights the full diversity of catalysis research, including the important contribution of researchers to industry.  We work in partnership with the CCI and see this industry-academic relationship as crucial in driving innovation.”

Since 2014, the CCI has raised over £20 million in research income across 93 grants (including £3 million directly from industry) and published over 800 papers in international journals, including 16 in Science or Nature.

A new five-year strategy aims to make CCI the leading international research institute across the full range of catalytic science, working in closer partnership with industry and building interdisciplinary collaborations to build income and deliver outputs, impact and influence.

The Institute already has established strategic alliances with Universities with complementary expertise, including Bath, Bristol, Queen's Belfast and UCL. CCI played a key role in the creation of the UK Catalysis Hub, which brings together expertise from most UK universities active in catalysis.

To find out more about Professor Wass’s 2020-2025 vision for catalysis, visit our Home of Innovation blog.

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