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ASTUTE 2020 Update September 2020

Here at ASTUTE 2020, we can support your business throughout this period of uncertainty. Our world-class academics and technical experts from across our strong Welsh Universities partnership are available to support you through research and innovation activities. If you wish to discuss opportunities for working with us e.g. to modify your production to develop solutions to support the fight against COVID-19, you can contact us via email.


ASTUTE 2020 Innovative & Experimental Capabilities Showcased

ASTUTE 2020 Innovative & Experimental Capabilities Showcased


On the weekend of the 9th – 10th September, ASTUTE 2020 participated in Swansea University’s 'Swansea Science Festival'.

The family friendly event held at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea which attracted 9,000 visitors showcased the innovative and experimental capabilities in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). 

The event was focused on encouraging children to engage in STEMM subjects. Developing an idea that children would be interested in and to represent the ASTUTE 2020 team was a big challenge as ASTUTE 2020’s focus is on working with manufacturing companies on Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I).

Our stand focused on powders and particles which occur in numerous areas of STEMM and showcased ASTUTE 2020 facilities and capabilities. The high speed camera offers an insight into actions or motion not typically visible to the human eye, including the popping of popcorn.

The capturing of a kernel of corn popping in slow motion proved to be popular with children and adults alike, their interaction of testing reaction times to capture the corn popping and learning why corn kernels ‘pop’ and why some kernels never ‘pop’.

Free popcorn samples were handed out in 100% compostable cups, highlighting the importance of sustainably-sourced materials. People were being encouraged to use designated bins, so the cups could be composted by Swansea University.

(Video captured at the Science festival - 10,000 fps (frames per second), that's 300 times faster than a cinema movie)


Gun cotton was another show stopper. Typically used by magicians, gun cotton ignites at a much lower temperature (58°C) than gun powder (121°C). The cotton ignites instantly and burns in a quick brilliant flash. Capturing it in slow motion showed that the cotton starts to disintegrate in the heat before the flame even touches the cotton.    

The novel process of Additive Layer Manufacture (ALM), an area of expertise for which the ASTUTE 2020 team uses metal powders to produce intricate and robust components, was exhibited. Our stand included examples of complex components in stainless steel, titanium alloy and aluminium that have been manufactured using the digitally driven process, with our video loop displaying the actual process of creating an object using ALM.

The ASTUTE 2020 team enjoyed their fun filled weekend of engaging with children and adults alike, exciting and involving them different areas of STEMM which are highly relevant to ASTUTE 2020.  

Demand-led by industry, ASTUTE 2020 is working together with the Welsh manufacturing industry to embed advanced and sustainable technologies.

ASTUTE 2020 can support manufacturing companies across a variety of sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, energy generation, oil and gas, medical devices, electronics, foods, etc., stimulating growth by applying advanced engineering technologies to manufacturing challenges driving cutting-edge research and innovation. ASTUTE 2020 collaborations inspire manufacturing companies to improve and streamline their manufacturing processes, manufactured products and supply chain, generating sustainable, higher value goods and services and bringing them to a global market.

The ASTUTE 2020 operation has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and the participating Higher Education Institutions.

For more information on ASTUTE 2020 please visit www.astutewales.com