Category Archives: Uncategorized

HVM G+ New Materials 2017 “was an enormous success”

Tim Minshall

• Productivity Puzzle

• UK has a productivity gap -companies are not as productive as they should be (since the

recession in 2008/2009)

• Technology can act as a driver for increased productivity, but needs to be developed

correctly. Development paths needs to be well understood – you can’t just throw money at

the problem and expect solutions, needs understanding of problems/ecosystem/drivers

• New technology isn’t always complicated (e.g. shipping container driving globalisation)

• UK government developing strategy for “4th Industrial Revolution”

• Looking back at how digital tech has developed, we may not even understand/have defined

the problems that additional computing can solve

• Key to link the digital world and physical world – big data/sensors feed from real world to

digital, 3d printing/additive manufacturing go the other way

• Key for additive manufacturing is to move from niche/novelty to productivity

• Value chain – ideas/technical issues, regulatory roles, problems to be solved, and firms who

are there to do it

• Additive manufacturing changes the concept of manufacturing/distribution. Can localise

production, allow customisation/prototyping/tooling at point of usage

• Need to overcome challenges – people don’t understand how to use tech/why to use

tech/what skills are required

• Needs the correct ecosystem – companies/education/policy/finance to ensure technology

can deliver on potential

Krzysztof Koziol

• Carbon shows different properties according to dimensionality (1d vs 2d vs 3d)

• Diverse range of graphene properties can form “platform” material for vast range of


• Graphene ISO only just defined, but term “graphene” has already been applied to variety of

other materials (graphene/graphene oxide, monolayer/bilayer/few-layer, etc.) – properties


• Reproducibility remains hard, particularly between producers (lack of standardisation)

• Other 2d materials form much larger “family”, semiconductors/insulators/combinations of


• Large funding for development (Graphene flagship = €1bn, 4500 researchers, £120m from


• Lack of understanding of development process/returns causing political rumblings, but

successes not always emphasised

• Production – top down vs bottom up. Top down allows large scale, but small flakes. Bottom

up – more expensive, but higher quality single films

• Challenges now for graphene – quality/consistency, reproducibility, standardisation,

cost/affordability, increasing volume, quality control, End performance

• Standardisation work ongoing – NPL, IOM, BSI, but ISO recently published

• Some of the disillusionment comes from people using the wrong material/using graphene

for the sake of using graphene without full understanding. Sometimes combinations of

material more powerful than solo. Metals + nanotubes + graphene etc

• Applications are now being realised across many fields – sensors, PV, conductors/wires,

biomedical, composites, automotive, heaters, fire retardance, volume applications –

composites, concrete are following, but will require much larger volume

• Again, consistency/quality control is key

Katarzyna Sokol

• View from the research angle – latest developments of energy storage materials

• 2d materials allow efficient storage without expansion/contraction/cycling degradation/slow

charge and discharge rates

• Graphene/Graphene oxide/reduced graphene oxide – high performance/density possible.

• TMOs – stable performance, many cycles produce little reduction in performance/capacity

• TMDs – very high efficiency, even at high charge/discharge rates

• MXenes – artificially produced materials, very high performance and stability

• Polymers – crystalline polymer form “2d” structures. VERY stable (>7000 cycles and <30%

reduction in capacity)

Day 1, Session 2

Madhuban Kumar

• Productivity dropping, even with people working more.

• UK lags behind in the G7

• Reasons – decision making process too slow, lack of structure results in inefficient work,

need for redoing

• Non-productive activities are creeping into the work day – social media/internet/drinks,

smoking, food breaks. Interruptions take ~8minutes to recover from in refocussing

• Productivity gains from automation/AI will be huge – avoiding unproductive problems,

creating new industries/directions.

• Healthcare, manufacturing

• Displacement of jobs, but new jobs will be created – AI trainers, explainers, sustainers

• Need to ensure frameworks are in place – how to ensure correct accounting, ethics

Sandra Stincic Clarke

• Increased data/capacity means that more and more devices can be connected

• BT focussing on connectivity and data handling (sensors input, applications output)

• To link inputs to data hub, need to move across different systems (not always standardised)

to ensure capability. Data flows to “hub” – power is in the data combination from different

sources, and putting that into a useable and understandable form

• Need to get data in as efficiently/quickly as possible, and make it readily accessible for

outputs. Driver for innovation

• Value chain – sensors à sensor data à communication à Data hub à output developers

àend users

• How to ensure value at each step of the chain

• Data hubs form key step – reduces barriers to entry, makes data accessible on

understandable and standardised terms, combinations of diverse data types for innovative


• Data has no value if no one can access it, or if it is too complex/fiddly to access

• Demonstrator network – CityVerve in Manchester. How to bring all the data together across

different companies to add value

• >100 data feeds – public vs private, open vs closed, local vs city-wide, different data

handling/storage protocols

• Example – bike sharing scheme. City can find routes/usage/speeds/parking/cyclist specific

information on road quality, signage etc. Identify areas for investment/efficiency.

• Sensors/data is already there (100s of millions of sensors), need to interoperate to unleash

full potential and allow innovation

Mel Loveridge

• Major challenges with batteries to meet requirements for flight/EV/renewable energy


• High reactivity of lithium ions limits higher capacity at present

• Battery evolution primarily in anode/cathode chemistry. Fine for laptop/phone/small

portable device. Not yet ideal for EV etc

• Bio-inspired – macrostructures supported by progressively smaller structures/crystals

• Nanomaterials offer many tailorable and promising properties

• 2d materials – large surface area and large interlayer spacing for intercalation – little volume

disruption means less degradation/cracking

• Research now into hybrid materials – 2d alloys, MoS2-graphene hybrids

• SnSi nanowires on electrodes to enhance current collection

• Coulombic efficiency still not high enough

• MoS2-graphene hybrids – interaction with both lithium and sodium for enhanced efficiency

• Growing MoS2 onto graphene – achieving uniform and stable coverage

• Si-graphene hybrids for current collectors deliver very stable (potentially >1000 cycles)

• Power of graphene/2d materials may be greater as additive than standalone material. Need

to explore both 2d materials and interactions with “traditional” alternatives

Cameron Day

• William Blythe has both dedicated product lines and multi-purpose lines for research


Day 1, Session 3

Alex Kendall

• Robots today – only work in very controlled environments at the moment (e.g. warehouses,

houses, closed roads)

• Machine learning – learning through experience/multiple runs. E.g. alpha go

• Why are these not controlling robots for real-world environment? Limitations – computer

vision, safety aspects

• Computer vision – need to teach computers how to “see”. Computers can “image” but need

to interpret/understand. Building from basic focussing to full interpretation and recognition

• A baby needs ~10,000,000 training examples to learn to “see” (~1 year)

• Computer deep learning can take ~3 days to learn to identify objects

• Models can then interpret aspects such as segmentation (object type), instance

(counting/separation), depth from an image

• Examples – self driving cars, drone that can “object follow” while avoiding obstacles

• Questions on this section: how does it learn? Initial is labelled examples, then moves to

unsupervised learning (no labels, just interpretation). Representative training images are

key. Depth perception: looking at pixel movement across frames

• Ethics and machine learning: how to ensure “optimised” systems don’t perform


• How do you ensure that a model is accurate, non-biased? Ensure it avoids underlying bias in

training datasets

• Avoid “reward hacking” – machines are trained to gain a “reward”. How do you ensure the

AI doesn’t cause problems to generate additional reward. Example – a vacuum cleaner

trained to pick up maximum dust might start damaging house to create dust to gain further


• How do you deal with uncertainty – ensure that you understand the “risks” in the AIs


Harry Swan

• Thomas Swan works across multiple chemical sectors

• Innovation platform – popular science/news, university collaboration and deep tech,

talking/working with entrepreneurs

• Financial support/advice/legal/IP/regulations key to bridging from idea to realisation

• Failure is also a key part of innovation

• Recipe for graphene – kitchen blender + graphite + fairy liqud

• Process is scalable, no chemical functionlisation, tunable to deliver desired graphene


• Range of applications – conductive inks, composites, sensing, heating panels

• Enough in the (new materials) market for all competitors acting in niches

Question session

• How to choose innovation direction? HS: key to balance market driven with “deep tech”, be

prepared to kill off unproductive properties

• Ethics/control of AI systems? AK: Products developed in simulation, development through

failure to reduce uncertainty. Innovation needed in regulation – can an AI be a legal entity?

Need for ethical oversight

• Applications for “bottom-up” graphene? HS: market for Thomas Swan is in chemicals, not

machines, so not development angle

• How do you overcome the “good enough” vs “perfect” issue? HS: Follow customer feedback,

follow the money. You can make it better, but it gets more expensive. Quicker, cheaper

products often sell much better. Be clear on what the benefits are for further processing.

• Startup affiliation for AK? AK involved in a startup called “Wave” – developing platform for

autonomous vehicle development

• Patent landscape for graphene? HS: focus for Thomas Swan is on process patent. Patents

can be helpful but can also be a burden. Often preferable to develop the application, then

assess IP landscape. Think of patents as a commercial tool, see if you can get just as far with

negotiation/licensing. Does it justify the cost? Target specific markets where you will be

operating, not just scatter-gun approach. How do you defend as well? Contingency/No-winno-

fee approach can help

• General AI vs AI for specific applications? AK: Not sure how the milestones lead to that.


• Based in Cambridge and globally

• Converting methane to graphene

• Question – why are graphene manufacturers expanding vertically? – Currently trying to

demonstrate potential or their material, but would prefer to retreat to supplying graphene

to others if possible

Tara Button

• BuyMeOnce

• Background in advertising

• Products like “Le Creuset” – products that are durable, that you can pass down to children.

Looked for website that brought together “longest lasting” products. Didn’t exist, so started


• Found products – lifetime socks, pens with enough ink to last a lifetime, unpuncturable


• Launched BuyMeOnce, now hires 9 people

• Vision is to become a “kite-mark” of longevity

• Shift for Tara -promoting the products she wanted, not those determined by company briefs

• Royalty based, so can promote early-stage companies “for free” and support their


• Reverse of general consumer market – drive for cheaper means “disposable” economy,

cutting corners means products are less robust

• Traps consumers into spending more (cheaper product lasts shorter, needs to be bought


• Customers can’t see longevity when choosing product – enter BuyMeOnce “stamp of


• CF energy efficiency label, but for “lifetime”

• The lightbulb conspiracy – lightbulbs deemed to last too long, companies agreed to reduce.

Ethos today is built around “as long as required for consumers to not complain”

• Environmental gains from longevity huge compared to what can be achieved through

optimising manufacturing

• Question – how do we move to a software model – upgrades/maintenance rather than

replacement. Perhaps “leasehold” for household appliances?

• Question – role for standards industry in promoting longevity? – yes, almost always more

efficient to replace modules than whole system. France moving to fine companies who have

poor sustainability

• Comment from BSI – they are also looking into similar, but need input from industry


• UK national standards body

• Graphene standardisation from BSI: ISO Standard defined (standard on graphene

terminology), published 2017

• Barrier to commercialisation for graphene is standardisation/QC/metrics

• Bringing together experts from government/industry/academia (And internationally) to

understand what needs to be standardised

• Next steps are to understand other areas needing standardisation

• Question: where next? – working group trying to understand. Key areas – Graphene

information (what needs to be provided for sale – method, chemicals, functionalisation etc.),

Measurement standards (thickness, conductivity)

• Question – how long? Need to agree nationally and internationally. Need to ensure that they

are published at the right time (not so early that the tech isn’t defined, not so late that the

industry has moved on). Typically 3 years time period

• Not allowing Brexit to impact for now on international collaboration.

InnovateUK _ Kalyan Sarma

• Focus divided into sectors to streamline growth

• Funding for centres (CPI and equivalent)

• Funding limited, so move to more open calls

• Special Interest group – networking, KTN input, Faraday Challenge fund

• UK Industrial fund ~ £25bn over 4 years

• Ensuring UK technology base for independent UK world

Nick Coutts

• Important to understand where your barriers are to know how to respond to them

• Building value by reducing risk/improving confidence

15th HVM & 4th Graphene New Materials Event – Day 2 – Business Conference Summit

Justin Hayward

• 4th industrial revolution or evolution with acceleration?

• Evocative Telford Aqueduct – ambition, pleasure facilitated – many further great feats of


• CIR has run 50 full technology conference days – 50 not out – sabbatical

• Nice foresight in 2008 around events on circular economy and quantum computing

• Graphene events since 2013

• HVM events since 2002

• Merge for unique crossovers

Mike Gregory

• Retrospective over 15 years – renaissance of manufacturing

• Realisation that manufacturing is fundamental to economic development

• 2.7-5.1 million people involved in manufacturing in the UK

• Rate of change accelerationg – 4th industrial revolution?

Lord Broers

• Grand Challenges

• Difficult to reduce to 10, distinguished group reduced it to 14 after 3 meetings.

• Engineering award higher than Nobel and Fields is ignored.

Michael Marshall

• Lived in Cambridge from 1932

• Marshall started 1909 – chauffer driven hire cars

• Went to building/maintaining cars

• Then à aircraft in 1929

• HVM since then (Concorde droop nose, enhanced electronics, advanced composites for aero

• Developing field hospitals, transportable medical equipment

• Maintaining C130 (Hercules)

• Apprenticeships key throughout development- – getting young people involved in


• Have seen Cambridge develop from limited growth (by design – <100000 population) to form

seed for business growth (science parks around the city)

Andrea Ferari

• How long from lab to factory floor? Diamond Like Carbon – 20-40 years, Transistor – 50


• Needs time and finance to develop

• Graphene needs to be allowed similar time to develop/deliver on potential – real material,

not software. Engineering take time

• Graphene currently past peak of expectation, now entering trough of disillusionment

• Need to bridge that gap – Graphene flagship ($1bn)

• Target will be applications that are ONLY possible with graphene (e.g. the laser was not

invented to make DVDs, but DVDs only possible with lasers)

• Methods of production developing – CVD now possible on foil rolls (BM Spider), Liquid Phase

exfoliation (dispersions)

• Inks allow capacative sensing, strain gauges, antennae, wearable sensors, 3d printing

• Composites – graphene enhanced. Extrusion possible – helmets, tennis rackets, bike tyres

• Graphene for heat pipes on satellites

James Baker

• Facing the challenge -how do you get graphene “out there”

• Academia forms foundation, but scale-up processes/standards/nomenclature/management

will need to be developed

• TRLs like ‘snakes and ladders’

• Challenges of TRL raising – big steps along the way, need to make sure all levels are covered

• Concept à product

• Need to shift from technology push to market pull (get demand from industry rather than

using graphene for the sake of it)

Martin Agnew

• 10 years development cycle for civilian aircraft, but early opportunities for drones/secondary


• Potential for advanced materials in aircraft – strengthening, dealing with vibrations/stress,

RF/EMI shielding, Optoelectronics, Displays

• Advanced materials enable unique applications. Solar planes for indefinite flight (<50kg, wit

~2kg metal in the aircraft)

• Satellite development – withstanding launch, and space environment


• Despite long development cycle for whole products, opportunities to engage with us in the

short and medium term 1-2 yrs and 3-5 yrs when it comes to replacement or refit or

restructuring of aspects of larger products

Peter Hansen

• Haydale produce graphene, but are now targeting applications directly

• GBP£ 3.5mn income and a GBP£ 5.4mn order book – listed on AIM as plc

• Coatings and Conductive tracks for sensors/heaters

• Composites for high strength polymers

• Low level addition of graphene to polymers has dramatic effect (65% increase in tensile

modulus), conductive polymers for 3d printing/extrusion

• Addiing graphene to prepregs for strength enhancement

• Conductive prepgreg comppsites for applications such as lightning protection

• Need to balance electrical and mechanical performance, avoid making the resins too viscous

for usage

• Graphene enhanced adhesive – strength vs conductivity

• Key challenge now (as per James Baker) – get the pull rather than the push. Real engineering

benefits needed to build sustainable market

• Need end users to be prepared to pay for development (developers are not charities)

Nigel Bond

• Full digital printing allows variable labelling of labels/packaging customisation (even “batch

of 1”)

• Example – packaging best before dates, production information, serial number requires

individual tailoring

• Baked bean cans, Daily Mirror lucky bingo – used to be individually numbered

• Now printing full colour (since 2010)

• USP is global service network

• Standardised service level worldwide

• 90% market share for tobacco industry due to anti-counterfeit capability

• Inkjet manufacturer/technology company àglobal coding/marketing/marking solution

provider à enabler of digital print worldwide

• Full colour digital printing allows standard labels and variable information to be printed in

single line – value added

• Very strong core competency, not over diversified

• Stuck to knitting for 40 years

• Very high quality service and support globally

• Business located in 120 countries, but products in every country in the world including North

Korea – where it is also serviced!

• Digital advantage – reduced lead time, can reduce waste in packaging (by printing on

demand) – small batch size if required

• Domino cloud allows real-time monitoring/maintenance/control – additional consumables,

failing parts, line efficiency etc

• “Quick Design” allows automation of product information printing (e.g allergens) without

human error. Reduced product recalls

• Bringing Industry 4.0 with traditional printing gives symbiotic and complementary benefits

for users and for Domino themselves

Ramon Borrell

• Xaar initially licensed technology Seiko II, ToshibaTec e.g.s

• Public listing in 1997 to support shift to in-house production

• Focussing on digital printing, 3d printing

• “Industrial inkjet” – anything that is not commercial printing. E.g. additive manufacturing

• Shift to digital printing from analogue printing (e.g. ceramics industry)

• Enter “non-traditional” printing – onto glass/ceramics/textiles/directly onto curved

substrates (shape) often packaging e.g. plastic bottles

• Functional printing growing

• Décor – e.g. ceramics. Not only printing decoration, but glazes (define gloss/texture/grip)],

textured wallpapers

• Printing “direct to shape” allows labels to be removed from process

New technology development in Si MEMS for nozzle/print head development

• High control of piezoelectric material, print control

• Excellent control/reproducibility of nozzle shape/size

• Actuator – 37 deposition steps

• Inkjet offers unique applications

• 3d printing

• 450mm wafer patterning via nanoimprint

• 3d printing – targeting High speed sintering – powder bed with initiator jetted, sinters

powder. 10x faster than laser sintering

Felice Torrisi

• Research firm prediction for wearable technology is for rapid growth to come (from 2019-)

• Requirements for wearable – stretchable (30%) low-power, breathable, washable,

biocompatible (longer term)

• Current wearable devices -typically rigid electronics integrated with strap/support

• For wearable electronics, printing will be key process for manufacturing

• Using graphene thin films, can produce both strain sensors and non-variable interconnects

• Learning lessons from cotton dying to deliver textile printing – want strong adhesion

between ink and textile for washability

• Fully integrated printing systems – dielectrics, semicondutcors, conductors for active device

printing – transistor, logic gate, memory

• Planarisation of textile needed for successful device

• Question – cost? – FT: depends on sector. High cost fashion could absorb price increase

• Question – enviromnemtal remnant? FT – binders are environmentally friendly, nonmetallic,

so no issues anticipated

Session 3

Angelica Anton

• Silk Ventures support companies wishing to expand/enter into Chinese market

• Partnership with SASAC (Chinese state ownership) to access market, find clients etc.

• Learning lessons from Chinese state-owned enterprises as they seek global market share

• Chinese frameworks for industry support internal connections. Companies that are prepared

to fit the framework will have advantages in the market

• Chinese companies are looking to expand globally. Investment/growth power house. Patent

numbers, unicorn numbers, exit values all back this up

• Question re IP – comment: make sure you’re protected. China is getting better about

protecting (and understands issue) but not perfect yet

Paul Cain

• Display industry is about 200 million square metres in total area

Flexenable puts plastic transistors on plastic (printing) for LCD manufacturing

• Technology outperforms amorphous silicon

• Low temperature manufacturing

• Leakage current very low – allows reduced signal-noise ratio for sensors

• Flexible displays – advantage is as much curved architecture as bendable displays/devices

• OLCD has advantages over OLED for large area, long life, high brightness

• Using TAC as a substrate (already used for displays applications ~4 layers per normal display

to support polarisers). 1 billion square metres manufactured worldwide

• Flexenable technology comparable in price to glass-based displays, but with significantly

enhanced functionality

• Can retrofit older displays fabs to produce Flexenable devices

• Scaling up production – partnership in China

• A low Temperature process has knock on benefits

• A very important milestone for FlexEnable, but also one for the industry of organic


Question – how so flexible? No birefringence because hghly optimised plastics used as susbstrate

Question – dead space between pixels? 2-5 μm

Question – Touch screen? Yes, possible

Question – Fabless as alternative to licensing? May not fit with Flexenable’s current model

Question – Brightness? Equivalent to glass displays, increased brightness does not reduce lifetime

(unlike OLED)

Question – XRAY sensors? Same size as equivalent glass. Use same equipment to produce

Quesiton – bidirectional bending/dual axis bending? Not explored, but exploring at the moment

Keith Strickland

• Plessey background – semiconductor wafer foundry, later Moved towards products

• Limit of GaN is in wafer scale – too expensive and cannot be grown at large wafer scale

• Now being grown on other substrates (including Si wafer)

• Cost play – GaN on Si

• Issue with growing on Si is lattice mismatch. Solution is to add strain engineering layers

between Si and GaN

• Currently at 6” wafer, but targeting 12” and beyond

• Current main substrate is Sapphire, can’t do larger than 6” wafer without huge cost

• Development of VR limited by brightness/power requirement – role for Plessey with LEDs

• Pixel pitch for VR/AR only really possible with monolithic development for LEDs. Pick and

place <10μm not practical

Gavin Farmer

• Nanodiamond for improved strength/thermal management

• Thermally conductive but electrically insulating

• Surface functionalisation allows processing/usage

• Thermal management in polymers – enhancement vs BN or graphite

• Can work with range of polymers and complementary filler particles

• Mechanism – improved linking between existing filler particles

• Question – mechanical effect? Studying with epoxy for improved wear resistance, but still

early stage exploration

Andrew Williamson

• CIC fills gap in Cambridge sector for Series A funding

• Balance sheet investor – allows longer term investment, patient investment

• Primarily staffed by entrepreneur/deep tech experienced people

• Have coinvested with multiple other organisations

• Investments at all levels – materials, devices, end applications

• Also investments at seed, series A

Sabesan Sithamparanathan

• For many tracking, passive will be necessary –low cost, no battery required

• Remote tracking for buildings, warehouse, stores. Point of sale system, anti-theft

• Initially focussed on aerospace/airport but now in retail, healthcare as well

• PervasID aims to make passive tags work like active tags in terms of


• Current issue is deadspots. Instead use multiple antennae to move deadspots, ensures

complete detection

Scott White

• Follows on nicely from Sabesan’s talk

Phil O Donovan

• Good to have sensibly structured stock options for the entire company

• Find USP

• Hermann only invested in companies that had global intentions (big markets)

• Sold to large company Qualcomm

The Value of the Smart Systems Summit 2014 1-2 October London IoD


This is a special summit culminating 7 years of smart systems conferences within various segments

We form media partnerships with those who can extend our reach further

We are a strategy consultancy rather than an event organiser following instructions

We specialise in market research, using contact referrals and social media to obtain top speakers year after year

The value is in the bringing together of industry leaders beyond your own lists, with government and other academic groups

Our databases are large, from 12 years of conferences with 3,200 delegates

Network with industry innovators to create and develop critical new business collaborations and to exchange knowledge

Minimize risk by keeping up with technology developments – where is the industry going

Bring in cross-over engineering situations that might lend valuable ideas to work already being done

The spice of high level events in the capital, a greater chance of serendipity in networking

We’re bringing together top people from no fewer than 21 conferences in Cambridge and Oxford on these topics – so it’ll be a unique group, not the same people

If communications are important to you, this will be a well-covered conference in social media and in print

It will quickly generate a legacy website and slides for the site Slideshare, which are looked at by delegates and referred to others over time, something which builds over a long period

Gain industry recognition for yourself and your company through speaking, roundtable participation

For buyers – what new systems, products and services are there to buy?

It’s a prestigious venue – one of the best in the UK

It’s in a central location easy to reach from all directions –  In the capital, in exciting West London, near parliament.

Book now via this link

This is how hard it is to get it right…

Ramanujan, the self-taught Indian mathematician, is being celebrated this year. Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel (Slumdog millionaire) star in a film being made in Cambridge as I write, summer 2014.  Another film about his life has just been completed.

Ramanujan wrote down, worked on, and arrived at thousands of results, the vast majority of which were correct. He came to Cambridge for five years towards the end of his short life and became a Fellow of the Royal Society. Born in Madras in 1887, he died there of TB in 1920, aged 32.

This little anecdote below, however, from the 1940 book “Ramanujan” by Professor G Hardy (Chapters I and II), who helped bring Ramanujan to Cambridge, shows how hard it is to get it right in mathematics.

In the theory of prime numbers, there was a ‘prime number theorem’ for the number of primes up to a given number, call it x, which, brilliantly, Ramanujan independently rediscovered. Gauss, Legendre and Dirichlet had “endorsed” it prior. The theorem however “errs by defect” – which means if you stress test it enough, i.e. go to high enough examples, you’ll see it deviate from the truth, and increasingly so.

Up to x = 1 billion, the expression is good!

But another mathematician, Littlewood, went on in 1912 to show that there are an infinite number of (very high) values of x where the formula is shown to be incorrect. He did so by looking at its difference from a better, proven formula for the number of primes up to a given value, and an example found by a man called Skewes was 10 to the power of ten to the power of ten to the power 34. A large number! Hardy thought this was the “largest number ever to have served a definite purpose in mathematics”.

When Einstein wrote down Special and General Relativity and these were later tested, this showed that under certain conditions (strong gravitational fields or velocities close to the speed of light) the Newtonian theory was very wrong. Quantum mechanics does the same thing at the small scale to Newton’s theories.

A conjecture, a model, a hypothesis remains just that until you prove it, as in mathematics, e.g. prime numbers,  or do experiments to check it, as in gravitation, or in small-scale physics.

Proof is extremely difficult.

Smart X: Exponential new experiences via the industrial internet

Smart X is taking off in a big way, according to the Chairman of the Smart Homes Conference 2013 which took place in Cambridge Q4.

But there are risks of great inefficiency and impediment to the evolution of the industrial internet because the technology or innovation is often still built within a silo, incompatible from hardware or software or data sharing with other innovations.

This is a potential barrier to maximally speedy development and is likely in part to be due to the use of business models attempting to appropriate value to investors and entrepreneurs having this effect.

ARM, the Lead Sponsor of the 2013 conference, therefore noted that we should be looking for business models and strategies to make money from Smart X such that are open and enable rapid development and crossovers.

Interoperability of devices will be important,  while data needs to kept secure. Innovation needs to be driven by diversity.

Telenor stated that the 10 billion smart home devices currently, would go to 50 billion by 2020. They noted that the value of a network grows rapidly with the number of connected devices, but more also with the effective use of the data shared.

This year Cambridge Investment Research combines its Smart Series conferences under the banner Smart X. We will return to interoperability. We will look careful at monetisation and business models. More to be announced!

We look to X = Grids and Energy 3-4 June in Cambridge. Then we move to other cities. There is also a related industrial conference series called HVM, which this year focused on carbon-based functional materials such as graphene, diamonds, carbon black and nanotubes.

These event series each have great potential and together it is exponential!

We look forward potentially to greeting you in person at one of these sensational events, hopefully starting this summer in Cambridge.

Watch this space!





HVM Graphene Conference Cambridge 2013 Programme Lineup!

HVMG13 Information | Bookings

Programme for 5 November 2013 HVMG Conference


Opening Session – Introduction & Graphene Basics: Functional Materials
10:00 Mike McCreary, Director, CIR Strategy
- Conference introduction
10:05 Professor Peter Dobson, Oxford University Nanomaterials – Chairman’s Introduction
10:20 Prof Andrea Ferrari, Cambridge University 
& Head, Cambridge Graphene Centre
Overview of the Applications of Graphene
10:35 Dr Patrick Frantz, CEO, Cambridge Graphene Platform
Low Cost Graphene & 2D Layered Material Inks for Printed Electronics
10:50 Dr Steve Thomas, CIT Ltd
Conductive materials – market uses & experiences
11:05 Panel with speakers & moderator & Prof Johnny Coleman Trinity College Dublin
11:30 Coffee break
Session 2 – Additive manufacturing, electronics, photonics
11:50 Dr Mike Banach, VP, Plastic Logic
Shaping the next industrial revolution
12:05 Dr David Brown, CTO, Canatu
Scaling of Carbon NanoBud film production for commercial apps in touch and display devices
12:20 Dr Richard van Rijn, CTO, Applied Nanolayers
High volume quality manufacture of graphene
12:30 Dr Kate Stone, Novalia
Creative printed electronics
12:35 Peter Towler, Director, BritonEMS part of OSI Electronics – What to expect from an EMS Supplier

12:40 Panel with Moderator Professor Ferrari & Dr Rob Harvey, AtomJet

13:05 Lunch and Exhibitions
Session 3 – Commercialisation Cases & other materials & applications
14:05 Dr Krzysztof Koziol, Chief Scientist, Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd
14:15 Professor Jonathan Coleman,
Layered materials: from tiny things to advanced applications
14:30 Professor Richard Palmer, Founder, Nanoscale Labs, Birmingham University
Prospects for massive scale-up from nano research in biochips & catalysis
14:50 Dr Nathan Hill, Strategy Director, National Graphene Institute – Commercialisation strategies

15:10 Panel with Moderator Del Stark CEO, Nanopro

15:30 Tea break
Final Session – Strategy for UK HVM & Graphene
16:00 Dr Jani Kivioja, Head, Nokia Research Center
Graphene – What is the commercial viability of short term applications?
16:30 Nick Coutts MA; Former IBM VP, CIR Strategy
Routes to Value for Graphene
16:40 Dr Martin Kemp, NanoKTN
Graphene commercialisation – Summary of industry consultation workshops
16:55 Professor Sir Michael Gregory CBE, Head, IfM
High Value Manufacturing Roadmaps
17:05 Panel with Professor Sir Mike Gregory CBE; Chairman’s Summary
17:30 Networking & Drinks Reception

Please contact 01223 303500 to speak to the organiser of HVMG13 directly.


Programme Lineup for Smart Homes 2013 Cambridge, 5 November

The 8th Smart Homes & Cleanpower Conference 2013 Expo (SHCP13 | Bookings) will take place at Buckingham House Conference Centre, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge University CB3 0DF on 5 November 2013, and the forum will discuss the above questions in pleasant and relaxed modern conference surrounds. An excellent lineup of speakers has been arrayed covering a unique range of related topics. Generalise & thrive!
Smart Homes Conference 2013 – 5 November Cambridge

Opening Session – Connected Intelligence, Water, Energy, Things
10:00 Justin Hayward, Director, CIR Strategy, Introduction
10:05 John Riley, Head, Digital Policy Alliance, Chairman’s Opening Remarks
10:10 Bryan Lawrence, Solutions Marketing Manager, ARM Ltd Lead Sponsor
Empowering your home: realizing efficiency, comfort and security
10:25 Robert Brunbäck, CMO, Telenor Connexion AB
The Smart Home: from Vision to Reality
10:40 Ian Ellerington, Head of Innovation, DECC
Energy Innovation Programme
10:55 Steve Kaye, Head of Innovation, Anglian Water, Gold Sponsors
Innovations in water
11:05 Panel with Chair, & Marco Pisano, ESCO, followed by coffee break
Session 2 – iWATER – Water Technologies
11:40 Linda Berkshire, Anglian Water
Water & customer experience
11:50 Laurie Reynolds, Director, Aquamatix
Connecting the Water Industry to the Internet of Things
12:00 Adam Burrows, I2O Water
Under Pressure: advanced management technologies
12:10 Marcus Fowler, Tynemarch
Hands to the pump: total control software
12:20 Paul Glass, Anglian Water
In-house displays & devices for water
12:30 Panel with Steve Kaye, Head of Innovation at Anglian Water
13:00 Rapid Innovation Pitches CIR Strategy & Venture Partners
13:10 Lunch and joint networking with HVM Graphene Stream
Session 3 – iHEAT – Homes Energy & Technology
14:00 Graeme Hodgson, Project Manager, Hitachi Europe, Gold Sponsors
Strategy for  Smart Communities
14:15 Andy Nowell, Technical Director, Sentec Ltd
Home Energy metering
14:30 Andy Heaton, CEO, EnModus Ltd
Connectivity in the smart home – Winner Takes All or Horses for Courses?
14:40 Russell Haggar, CEO, Xsilon Ltd – Dependable M2M & Case Hanadu
14:50 Chris Wright, Founder, Moixa Energy – Distributed systems: time shifting DC & lighting load
15:00 Panel with Graham Ford, Mansion Partners & Tea break
Final Session – Smart Homes & IoT Entrepreneurship
15:40 Adam Gould, CEO, ARM Sensinode
Introduction to IoT for Smart Homes
16:00 Amir Chaudhry, Founder,
Dumb homes, smart people: generational systems for IoT
16:10 Ben Kott, CEO, EnergyDeck Ltd
A Powerful platform to reduce energy cost
16:20 Usman Haque, Founder & CEO, Umbrellium Ltd
Empowering smart citizens
16:40 Pilgrim Beart, Founder Director, AlertMe
Smart Homes At Scale
17:00 Plenary panel with John Riley, Head of UK Gov Digital Policy Alliance, then Chair Summary
17:30 Networking Drinks

8th Smart Homes & Cleanpower Conference 2013 Expo (SHCP13 | Bookings)

Please call us on 01223 303500 for bookings or more information.

Graphene: what is the reality?

The HVM Conference Series was founded in 2002, after a market research report led to an early definition of high value manufacturing.

The HVM & Graphene Conference is anchored to the large end markets such as materials, electronics, photonics, energy and biotech and tries to connect these & related markets with graphenes & related functional materials, technologies & processes.

The HVM Conference will run an edition on Graphene (HVMG13) and related functional materials on 5 November 2013 in Cambridge. The Nobel Prize has been awarded in 2010 to Geim and Novoselov for work on Graphene. The conference is interested in commercial applications of the materials. There is no interest at this long-running & grounded UK conference series in hyping the market growth derived from the materials. The interest is in the uses, availability, manufacture, timing of graphene, related materials and their market growth. The wide range of potential applications below of graphene fits well with the range of processes & end-product markets that the HVM Conference has covered over the years, such as additive manufacture & printed electronics.

This conference of the brightest, best and most experienced will take on board the below, and ask & discuss the full suite of commercialisation & opportunity prioritisation questions. The conference is sponsored by the NanoKTN, Plastic Logic & OSI Electronics. There is also participation from Cambridge University, the IfM, Cambridge Graphene Centre, the National Graphene Institute, Manchester University, Oxford University, Birmingham University, Lancaster University, Imperial College, Cambridge Graphene Platform, Cambridge Nanosystems, Applied Nanolayers, CIT, Novalia, KPMG, Heraeus Noblelight, and a number of key commercial, larger players such as Nokia Research.

Here are some of the statements and comments made by academics at a selection of learned institutions in recent years:

Graphene is a sheet of carbon atoms arrayed in a honeycomb pattern, just a single atom thick. It could be a better semiconductor than silicon.


Graphene is a material with outstanding properties that make it an excellent candidate for advanced applications in future electronics and photonics.

…graphene field-effect transistors, FETs, and …graphene monolithically integrated circuits (ICs). These graphene transistors and ICs could become essential elements in the blossoming fields of wireless communications, sensing, and imaging.

…impressive photonic properties of graphene. The light–graphene interaction can be adjusted using an electric field or chemical dopant, making graphene-based photonic devices tunable. (Applications such as)…fast photodetectors, optical modulators, far-infrared filters, polarizers, and electromagnetic wave shields. These graphene photonic devices could find various applications in optical communications, infrared imaging, and national security.

IBM Watson Research Center


Graphene is the thinnest known material in the universe and the strongest ever measured. Graphene can sustain current densities six orders of magnitude higher than that of copper…record thermal conductivity and stiffness, is impermeable to gases, and reconciles such conflicting qualities as brittleness and ductility.



Recent discoveries have provided simple methods for preparing lab-scale samples to study graphene. A number of techniques have emerged that show promise for producing large-scale samples with the ultimate goal of developing devices that take advantage of graphene’s unusual properties. As large samples become available, the possibility grows for applications of this material in solar cell technology (as flexible, transparent electrodes), in composites material development, and in electronic devices.



…those properties (of graphene/graphene oxides) can be exploited in several applications such as photo-catalysts (degradation of pollutants)…

Nokia Research


(We study) thermal transport properties of graphene…applications of controlling heat at nanoscale.

The thermal conductivity can be tuned dramatically by the graphene filler concentration.

Graphene-based composites are potentially promising as thermal interface materials (for) modern heat management in many industrial applications.



The HVM Graphene 2013 Conference is co-located with the ARM sponsored Smart Homes & Cleanpower 2013 Conference, in its 8th year, which takes in Heat, Water and Connected devices/IoT Sessions for an excellent set of crossovers around energy, heat, storage, electronics, and data. Delegates of  one conference may move freely between both conference rooms for a rich, inspiring and productive experience on the day.

To attend HVM Graphene 2013, simply email ( with your name, affiliation & contact details, and the organisers will do the necessary (pricing is on the webpage linked above).

This blog entry was researched and compiled by Dr Justin Hayward MBA and Conference Director.

Smart Grids & Cleanpower 2013 – Cambridge conference gives global insights

A “cracking” day was had by over 100 senior delegates at the 5th Smart Grids & Cleanpower Conference Expo 2013 in Cambridge last week. Over 33% of the delegates took a survey & all spoke highly of the event. The conference was sponsored by local giant ARM Ltd.

Gold Sponsors Anglian Water and Hitachi Europe gave talks. In total there were nearly 40 speakers and moderators across the two streams. There were 7 panel sessions and 3 hours of networking and exhibition.

Pilgrim Beart, Founder Director of AlertMe Ltd, was voted the best speaker by over a third of delegates, giving a talk on Simplicity for the smart home, with Keith Clarke of ARM Ltd in second place with their vision of global connected intelligence.

Organiser and principal consultant at CIR Strategy Ltd Justin Hayward said: “Running a high quality conference of this size is immensely challenging. People are booking later and later, costs are rising, competition is growing as we move into the experience economy further. Yet this event, our 31st since 2002, was extremely rewarding on the day, as we achieved attendance over 100, and already over a third of the delegates have come back with uniformly high praise of the conference. As a consultancy, we continue to do interesting work around this general set of topics.”

Delegates have already been provided with a 50pp document PDF of all aspects of the day, edited by Justin Hayward PhD MBA and Michael McCreary CEng of CIR Strategy, from notes by Maria Gradillas of Imperial College. Delegates also have an image gallery of the day, speaker biographies & synopses, slides of all speakers, and a summary of the conference talks and panels (Chatham House).


Next year’s SGCP14 conference is already being built – see you on 4 June 2014. Upcoming conferences include the 5 November Smart Homes & Cleanpower Conference taking in the iWATER, iHEAT, and SHIFT sessions, co-located with the HVM Graphene Conference. Not a day to be missed!

You can sign up for the 5 November 2013 and 4 June 2014 conferences already here:


Smart Grids & Cleanpower: an overview of 5 June 2013

Dear colleague

SGCP 2013 is an exciting one-day conference expo in two streams for corporates, investors and entrepreneurs building businesses in the connected intelligence for grids and power sector. The conference is in its 5th year. We want to inform, inspire and connect the people and companies building & securing the smart grid and enabling safer cleaner lower-cost power generation.

Why attend SGCP – what this conference expo gives you

The double-stream conference brings together brands implementing connected intelligence and the disruptive tech companies supplying them to discuss smart grids “The Grid of Things” and transition energy security.

The Lead Sponsor is ARM. Speakers include ARM, Energy Saving Trust, Cyan Technology, BPAE, Anglian Water, National Grid, National Nuclear Lab, National Physical Lab, UK Power Networks, S&C tbc, Trilliant, ETI, DECC, Ofgem, Intellisense, Moixa Energy and AlertMe (see web for longer list andagenda).

Some who will be there: Cambridge University, Imperial College, Marshall Group, Anglian Water, Hitachi Europe Future Cities, Energy Saving Trust, NPL, TTP Ventures, Dawe Media, Fault Current Ltd, Maosco Ltd, Multos, Isentropic Ltd, AlertMe Ltd, Polysolar Ltd, Cambridge Carbon Capture Ltd, Green Tide Ltd, JKPM Ltd, Energence Ltd, Metric Digital, EDW Tech Ltd, Cyan Technology Ltd, Shirlaws, Trillion Fund, UKTI East, Alconbury Enterprise, Autodesk, Trilliant, S & C Electric, BPVA, KISS Comms Ltd, Quench Power Ltd, Venner Shipley LLP, Cambridge Design Partnership Ltd, The Guardian Newspaper, UK Power Networks, BP plc,National Grid, Ofgem, Intellisense, Buro Happold, Durham University, Electralink, NNL, Ofgem, Sainsbury’s plc, DECC, ETI, Solar Century plc, Renesola, Emblem Ventures, UKERC, Oxford University, Moixa Energy, Adapt Commercial Ltd, Poyry, Mansion Partners, Xsilon Ltd, PassivSystems, Nanoforce Ltd, Gazprom, Qatar Developments, greenBRIDGE, New Laws Legal, EDF Energy, Clean Capital Advisors, Low Carbon KEEP Programme, CreativeZones, FusionIP, Sentec, Cambashi.

Media Partners include Business Weekly, Cleantech Investor Magazine, Clean Capital Network, Connected Clusters, Cleantech Business News and Smart Grids Careers: a lot of publicity!

Using probably the best & most comfortable venue in Cambridge, we offer many hours of pleasant, great networking with a lunch as well as structured and unstructured sessions and Q&A throughout the day.

Interested in exhibiting?

There is still some space for showing off what you do in the conference networking hours including lunch so please do get in touch.

Rising stars in grids and power

A key part of the programme is showcasing with innovation pitches, hosted this year by experienced investor Clennell Collingwood of TTP Ventures, the best of the innovators that are making the connected intelligence, grid technology & power generation deployment. Companies with the greatest market potential will meet customers, investors and press. If you have a successful or new business in grids and power, take an expo showcase space here (only 2 spots remain).

You can find out more and register here ( for SGCP13 and/or HVM & iWATER November on the info webpage here.

By calling 01223 303500 to book and telling us that you heard about this through Cleantech Investor Magazine, we will give you a 20% discount from the exec and investor rates.

Justin Hayward

CIR Conferences in Cleantech and HVM

Buy Tickets (

Mobile: 44 7720 047 402


CIR Conferences on Twitter: @HVMConference

Skype: jhayward


Slideshare: Past conference talks

More info about future events – speaking, sponsorship & registration

Conferences upcoming (call 01223 303500 to plan a great marketing programme):

Smart Grids & Cleanpower, 5 June, Cambridge

HVM Graphene Disruptive, 5 November, Cambridge

iWATER & iHEAT, 5 November, Cambridge