Luca Venza 0:00
Hello, hello everyone. Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed your networking opportunities. Just want to remind everyone we really want you interconnecting while you're here, so please keep up the good activity outside. It's my honor to host the second panel. I'm not sure that they gave us anything left to talk about, but we're gonna do our best. So my name is Luca Venza, I'm the Director of Technology Transfer, Innovation, Acceleration at IESE Business School. We’re a business school based here in Barcelona, we’re one of the top in the world. And it's my pleasure to welcome a panel which covers, I think, a broad range of material, supply chain, material actors, which help from creation, from ideation from invention, all the way through to commercialization. So, the title of this panel is New Frontiers in the Manufacturing Industry. So I welcome today, Alex Monino, the Vice President of 3D printing at HP, Tommy Bjorkberg, you're heard at the far end, who's the Senior Director of CTO group ZTE, Dr. Antonio Castro, the Director of the Center for Advanced 2D materials and Super Functional Intelligent Materials, so going beyond graphene, I suppose, and then Dr. Mamoun Taher, who's the CEO of Graphmatech. So gentleman, we have the next 40 minutes, and sorry for the lack of diversity on our panels, but it's very hard to find senior women in the advanced material space. And that's another problem that we'll talk about another time. But, right, so I want to give everyone first a chance to kind of tell us where you are, in your development of your companies. What are you doing, what's exciting to you? And so Alex, why don't you tell us what HP is up to? Because I was surprised to find out what HP is up to. And maybe all of you here will not be but this is not the typical industrial, massive 3D printing that I was expecting. So let me turn it over to Alex.
Alex Monino 2:08
All right. Thank you, Luca. So at HP, we're developing 3D printing technologies, both in plastics and metals, we're working with the material suppliers. And as was discussed on the panels before, one of the challenges of new technologies is to find relevant applications for those technologies. So today, I'm going to be talking about one, and linking the theme, about how we bring the materials to digital materials. So if you want to put the slides, please. So I'm going to talk about the case of foodware, which is one of the use cases that we're working on and is basically digital midsoles that we are so we take our material, and we digitally inform how the material needs to be shaped and needs to react. So what you see in the slide here is how you take the footprint of both the biometric shape, as well as the gait, the pressure plates of it, and basically that informs a digital model and an algorithm on how you need to shape the different pressure plates and the different pressure points here. So basically, this is just one application, one example on how you know a material can be fed with digital data that makes a product that's much more relevant for each of us. So in the future, each of us will get a personalized shoe like this one, this is my personalized shoe with the pressure points etc., exactly to the point of how I walk, how I want the shoe to react, okay. So that's just one example. So, if you move to the next slide please. So, what we do basically is we take the digital model of the feet and we transfer it into what are the pressure points, we design the lattice structure based on the material properties that we have in this case, this is a TPA, okay. And then basically, we shape in real time, what is the lattice composition, what is the weights, what is the stiffness that you want at every region of your midsole, and then we bring that into the shoe manufacturing and currently we're working with leading shoe manufacturers. So that's one way of bringing digital data into the shoe or printing process is one process where you basically take some very thin plastic, okay, and then you inject a set of agents where you want it to fuse or not. Those agents are chemical agents, and I want to show you what we can do in the future with chemical agents. So if you roll the video in.
HP Video 4:40
In 3D design and printing of voxel represents a value on a regular grid in a three dimensional space, like a pixel with volume by controlling the properties of each individual voxel through agents, HP Multi Jet Fusion can produce parts that can be made by other methods. Taking advantage of HP’s in depth knowledge of color science HBS, 3D printers could in the future selectively print a different color at each volumetric pixel. A single 3D printed part could have literally millions of colors. But more than just full color printing of functional parts HP’s multi agent system enables a fundamentally different approach that could unlock the full potential of 3D printing. At each voxel, HP transforming agents could control surface texture, wear, and friction, enabling single parts with multiple textures or the monitoring of part performance. The transforming agents could control the translucency of each voxel, enabling the printing of lenses or sensors. We could also optimize the strength and stiffness in portions of a part and print elastic voxels. In other portions of the part. The conductivity of certain voxels could also be controlled in embedded electronics. HP transforming agents could also be used to enable the printing of new advanced materials, or enable emulating different materials at each voxel.
Alex Monino 6:26
Alright, so just a small snapshot of what the future could look like digitally inputting what the material how they need to perform, and digitally altering the materials. So amongst other use cases, give us feedback, like, you know, the skirt that the panelists presented before.
Luca Venza 6:45
Lindsay, for those of you who saw Lindsay was up here, before sporting a graphing jacket, which could have biosensors, we could detect her heart rate in real time. And this is a more advanced sort of metrics, right? About how our bodies are performing, how they're responding to our environment. So in your mind, what does HP do now?
Alex Monino 7:06
We do shoes right now amongst all the things right. And basically, we do innovation with technology, things that can help the end users, you know, work better, lead better, right? And this is just one application of it.
Luca Venza 7:20
I think we'll get onto that, that change right from pixel to voxel. Right from 2D to 3D Functionality and the kinds of diversity that allows, for no? So now, Alex is generating all kinds of data, and talking to Tommy here from ZTE, what is your role in this material revolution? What are you guys working on?
Tommy Bjorkberg 7:42
So good question. I'll start off by just asking the audience, hands up, how many here have heard about ZTE and how many actually know what ZTE does? Normally I get mixed responses. So I'll just start off by telling you a little bit about what we do. So we are a global ICT provider. We've been that for the last 30 years. We're present in 160 countries. And we work in every facet of the ICT ecosystem. We invent and manufacture the chipsets, the power your devices that you're using on a daily basis. We build, invent and build the wireless networks that you're using here today. Being that 3G, 4G, 5G, Wi Fi, we build the fixed assets networks that you use for your home broadband, that companies and financial institutions, or hospitals use for data transmissions, up to AI machine learning and the application. So we are a very, very large globalizing ICT company. And currently, a quarter of the world's population is served by ZTE equipment, services and solutions. So it's a great responsibility that we have on our shoulders, to keep innovating and use this platform to really drive sustainability and kind of the green agenda.
Tommy Bjorkberg 9:05
Where we play in the materials ecosystem, I would probably say that we are end users of what academia and research in material science are coming up with. So for example, today, there's a lot of talk about graphene. So we already use graphene in our consumer devices to help with cooling. So our latest line of smartphones uses graphene super cooling in order to keep them cool, displays generate a lot of heat. We use graphene inside our 5G equipment for thermal padding to drastically reduce the temperatures of which the equipment operates. And that will also lead to the amount of reducing energy we need to cool that equipment, which is very, very important. We do other things. For example, we work with the gallium nitrate power amplification and with that comes the whole load of challenges of building new substrates based on diamond materials, etc. So yeah, I mean for us is that we are a pioneer and an innovator. Over the last decade, you know, we filed 80,000 patents, and we've got more than 38,000 grafted patents internationally. And in order to keep innovating, and keep answering this insatiable demand for data that the world is generating, I'll give you a statistic, if the data demand keeps the way it is for the next 10 years, 10 years from now, our equipment is going to have to manage to 2,000% more data than it is today. That takes power that takes cooling that takes densification. And in order to move on and really meet the sustainability goals and build a greener network, we need help from material science to bring in materials that can help us be more efficient, etc. I mean, one last thing, which is quite interesting, we even use graphene powder coating on some of our wireless equipment, because we can it apply very, very thinly, it has very, very good anti-corrosive properties, so it can weather the elements, but because we can apply it very thinly, it also reduces the the kind of resistance to the radio transmissions through the material, which provides high respect higher spectral efficiency. So I'm very excited to be here and listen to all these material sciences and what's happening and say what we can adopt in the future?
Luca Venza 11:33
But I think that's an excellent insight. And, you know, when you look at 5G, 6G networks, what does that really do for us other than faster internet, better streaming, more access? You know, I mean, we throw these words around, but what is this really, you know, if we're getting data from every shoe on the planet, aside from just processing it faster, what exactly is that gonna help us with?
Tommy Bjorkberg 11:57
I’ll start with this, you know, it's only about 10 years ago since smartphones started to become mainstream. And it wasn't actually until 2013, where smartphones started to outsell what we call dumb phones or feature phones. So you know, less than 10 years ago, most of us didn't have a smartphone. But now you couldn't imagine life without one. If you look forward to a 10 year horizon towards 6G, sure we are setting some goals, the 6Gs should be 1000 times faster than 5G networks of today, they should be a lot more responsive, etc., but everything is moving towards hyper connectivity. We’ve connected shoes, connected dresses, connected fridges, everything is connected. That will of course require large amounts of data. A lot of times when people look at the network, they look at these peak data rates and say, well, I get 100 megabytes to my phone, why do I need 1000, why do I need 2000, etc.? So it's not so much about that. It's about all the data that can transfer all the time, you need a lot more capacity in the airwaves to transfer all the data between machines between people and all that interaction. And to be honest, I think hyperconnectivity is going to be one of the key building blocks for sustainable development. That's how, you know how we make our cities smarter, how we make transport smarter, etc. I'll give you one last example. So earlier, the earlier panel talked about energy storage, etc., what if I told you that every one of us has energy storage in our home already. So if you go home and you have a fridge, you have a fridge freezer, that is at a certain temperature, let's say all the fridge freezers in a in a country or in the world were connected up to a smart grid and could be controlled from the energy produced, say without hitting a peak here, what if we just turn off some of the fridges or freezers for 10 minutes or 15 minutes or half an hour? It doesn't do anything to the produce inside because they will still be cool and fine, but you might be able to lower that data peak and energy. So it's things like that, that hyperconnectivity is going to contribute.
Luca Venza 14:09
Oh, that's fantastic. And I think Dr. Mamoun, I think this is your turn right? You are the guy who produces the materials that we need to build these networks to print these materials. Sort of, you know, what are the barriers for you? What are the tipping points? What are you waiting to happen? What's already mass production kind of where we are?
Mamoun Taher 14:29
Exactly! Pleasure being here. So starting by presenting Graphmatech what we are doing. We are a startup company based in Uppsala, in Sweden as a spinoff from Uppsala University on our research I have been doing there.
Mamoun Taher 14:44
So this is quite interesting how we take research findings into startups and then we capitalize them and scale them up and that's what Graphmatech is going through right now. So we are doing graphene materials technology, but we are way beyond this, because we are looking at the larger perspective of the globe and there has been a lot of industrial revolutions, like from digitalization, electrification is happening now and all these kinds of things. It's amazing, but are we going to do it as we did before on the cost of the planet? So, for example, to manufacture an electrical vehicle, you need a lot of materials, mainly conductive materials like copper. And already today, the supply demand already outstrips the supply and then in 2030, there will be a deficit of 100 million tons of copper. And then we have to act now, really, or we are already too late, what Graphmatech is doing. We are solving these challenges by graphene technology, we are making graphene to co-exist with other materials. So, we are focused on three business areas. The first one is graphene, manufacturing itself.
Mamoun Taher 15:59
Graphene, you know, you can make it in many different ways, like top down, bottom up, whatever. And graphite usually is the input material for making graphene. And you can get the graphite from different sources. But if we think sustainability, and we really want to make an impact, a positive impact. So Graphmatech has been developing a technology that we can take EV batteries, lithium batteries, which contains like 15% graphite, and the one recycled, we can use the waste stream to generate the graphene out of this, and then we put it back into the EV stream. So that is one thing: manufacturing. The other thing is metals. You know, the metal industry is really criticized for being very carbon dioxide emission intensive. And I believe, as my team does, that graphene has the potential actually to make the difference here. So we are making metals way better by adding graphene inside them. This might be really silly, I mean carbon and 2D how it will survive the metal processing things. So we invented technology using 3D printing, for example, to make graphene integrated in metals, and make them 50%, stronger and more conductive. What does it mean for industry? It means that we can use way less materials, which means we can emit way less carbon dioxide at the end of the day. So this is what it means. So the other business unit is plastics, you know, plastics, they made a real change in our life. I mean look around you, you’ll find a lot of plastics. However, plastics have been criticized, being ending in the oceans and these kinds of things. So we are regenerating recycled plastics and adding engineering value to that and how we are doing this. Again, with graphene technology. We combine the graphene with plastics for 3D printing to make 3D printed electrical motors, really zero metals inside them and make them functional, super lightweight, they can be recycled, they have a functionality. And then the cost is always a question. New technology will be more expensive than existing technologies, right? In every sector in materials and 3D printing, telecommunications, I can tell you that already today graphene is competing with the other solutions when it comes to the price. In the past three years, we managed to get the graphene price down by 55% and it will continue to drop down to the level that the graphene can be utilized in many price sensitive sectors, like cement, asphalt, all these kinds of things and ever replace carbon black, which is also criticized for sustainability reasons.
Mamoun Taher 18:41
So this is what we are doing at Graphmatech, and in order to break the barrier, we have to really present the impact at scale. We have to educate the industry, the different sectors, for example, telecommunications, what is the anticipated impact from such technology, one scaled up? And what does it take to scale up? Absolutely capital, right? So we have to engage investors to be with this journey and create the impact. And we still need researchers. Without them I think life would be super challenging, because they are the feedstock for all the innovations, which we have to keep in order to keep behaving better. So I think in order to deliver industry 4.0, electrification, and all these kinds of things we really need to pioneer materials. And what I'm going to announce actually on Thursday, is a new era of materials which we call materials 5.0. What is it? So materials 5.0 materials are way beyond functionality where we have focused in the past to be strong, lightweight, whatever, we are going in the future materials to incorporate circularity and sustainability and making them smart to communicate and give us the data. So this is what we are doing at the Graphmatech and I will be happy to discuss with you after this.
Luca Venza 19:59
That's incredible. I'm gonna be really excited by the asphalt cement, in particular the huge polluter. Big problem, massive industry? I mean, if you can fix that problem alone, it's worth a lifetime of effort. No, I think that's really exciting. And also this idea of embedded sensors and everything, right? I mean, you're, if you're mixing metal and graphene, you're mixing in sensors with everything in you can then interconnect, literally anything that is 3D printed, anything that was manufactured. So it's no coincidence that we have Dr. Antonio Castro sitting here in the middle. He's the reason all of us are in this room. One of the reasons, right without him, this industry doesn't exist without people like him, this industry doesn't exist. It's kind of like, Where's Waldo, can you pick out from this panel who the scientist is? Just by what we're wearing? Maybe? I don't know. So welcome. And, you know, we're all sort of hanging on, you know, what's in your mind and what's in the lab like, so what do you guys up to? That's going to help us in the short term?
Antonio Castro Neto 20:53
Okay, so initially, I should say, I'm a theoretical physicist by training. And I started on graphene very early on, even before graphene was known, and people knew about graphene or had any interest in graphene. So my journey on graphene goes way back. And 10 years ago, I moved to Singapore, was a professor in the US, I moved to Singapore, to start a research center, the Graphene Research Center. This was even before the Nobel Prize. And so it was the first graphene research center in the world. And it grew to a point that it changed name, it changed name to Center for Advanced Study Materials, because we're also investigating other materials beyond graphene, at that point in time. And it grew to a point that we had around 200 researchers working on many different things, from electronics, to construction materials that absorb CO2, to water treatment, to all sorts of things you can imagine you do in a university. Right? And that essentially dragged me into a completely different direction that, you know, the gentleman here has been involved for a long time, which was entrepreneurship, and industrial applications of these materials that we developed.
Antonio Castro Neto 22:33
So this was not in my original plans. I just want to be a professor and write my papers and I went into that direction and actually, it was quite interesting. We started a few companies, including 2D materials, that produce graphene, as well. And we are creating other companies. And that now, starting on that process, taught me about the value chain of the industrial creation, right, and now we're even going down into the direction of interstudios. Right, so creating, helping deep tech companies to essentially survive, you know, the so-called the Valley of Death, and things like that. So it's all part of the whole process from the lab to the commercial product. And just this year, we started a new institute, the Institute for Functional Intelligent Materials that I'm co directing with Kostya Novoselov, who was here via the Internet just a while ago. And in this new institute, we're going to a different level, in material science, in terms of bringing together the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence in robotics, to actually create materials, which we call intelligent in the sense that these are materials that respond to their environment. So we're not talking about static things anymore. We're not talking about, you know, a piece of steel or rubber or something like this. We're talking about complex materials that sense their environment. So they essentially know where they are. And they have memories of what's happening to them in that environment. And they know how to react to that environment to achieve a certain functionality. Right? So an example that I like to give is with insulin. So in all the world there is a huge problem with diabetes. And if you are a diabetic, you have to take essentially insulin shots. And of course, this is traumatic, right? So you have to put a needle in you, and inject with insulin. And you may ask why nobody has invented a pill that you can take and swallow instead of having to inject directly in the bloodstream. And the reason for that is that a pill has to go through the stomach, and in the stomach, the acidic environment of the stomach destroys the insulin.
Antonio Castro Neto 25:41
Okay. And then the question then for us was, how can we get an intelligent material that will encapsulate the insulin so that when you swallow the pill, the material, which is the encapsulation, knows it's the stomach, knows the pH of the stomach, and doesn't release the insulin, it protects the insulin, but then when he goes to the intestine, where the pH is higher, it can open up and release the insulin directly to the surface, and then into the bloodstream. So this is just one example of what we call intelligent materials. And that requires many different things going on. Of course, these are not your traditional materials, these are more complex materials. And so this is part of what we are going to be creating for the next 10 years.
Luca Venza 26:41
Right. That's fantastic. No, I can see time is getting away from us. So let's, let's go to, like, jump into the future a little bit. No, everyone's here I think exploring mentally and physically sort of what is going to be the role moving forward? And I think we heard earlier from Alex and from John Hoffman, you know, and two great examples here of postdocs, professors, academics, launching into the startup world, right? I think that's an important thing. And that's where I spend all my time is training, helping to train scientists and get them comfortable becoming entrepreneurs. What is the vision for you in, we won't go to John's 50 year or 30 year window, but maybe five or 10 years out, and maybe let's start at the laboratory and work our way up. And maybe you can help spur some creativity on their side, what, what is five years or 10 years out for you in terms of a creation that you can hand over to Mamoun there, and he can start manufacturing it that you think, you know, this is going to be really exciting, I get up in the morning and this gets me excited?
Antonio Castro Neto 27:43
So in our case, we're making a huge bet on the integration of, as I said, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and materials creation. And I see the industry of the future, being based on that being based on the fact that we're not just going to test the materials randomly, we're going to have the machines essentially making suggestions on how to reach the functionalities we want for those materials. And this is not going to be done by people mixing, you know, chemicals in a lab, it's going to be done by robots that essentially don't make mistakes. They do exactly right, what we want them to do, right. And there is going to be this feedback loop into the machine learning algorithm, so essentially, you can speed up the time of getting to a new material. So I think that the industry of the future is going to be like that. It's going to be dynamic, it's not like just producing one material for one specific thing.
Luca Venza 28:56
And Mamoun can you produce all of that?
Mamoun Taher 28:58
Well it depends on the demand. First I have to see if the industry is interested in looking at this because one of the common challenges we have in the research environment is that we get biased to our research projects, right. We believe that is the world changing technology and I will go, I mean 100% for that, but maybe the demand or the market is not ready for that. I think knowing the need from the industry and starting from that end is more interesting than starting from the research, I mean to the industry. And communication, like two directions, really is the way to do it and the best possible way. So I think we have to look at the need and the demand and implementations and then we come to the manufacturing question of how we are going to do this cost effectively and sustainably manufactured.
Luca Venza 29:52
And so that brings us to industry note Tommy and Alex. What would you ask of gentlemen, what is it that you need that you think can really propel your product line? You know, you jump from 3D printing to shoes and sort of maybe what's on your mind, we'll start with 3D printing and we can end with connectivity, but what is the game changer for you, or what is going to drive your action forward?
Alex Monino 30:18
The material Innovation is key, right for 3D printing. And actually, you know, we saw, you know, the bike, the bike that we saw here before, it's one example. Now, the more materials we have, eventually, the more we can bring other methods of manufacturing, which can basically make it we can bring demand closer, we can bring production closer to demand, we can do goods that are more personalized. And the more cheaper and intelligent that we can make those materials, the more and more use cases we will find. You asked about the future, how do you envision the future five to 10 years out? Is that my kids, I have two young girls, can basically buy online products that are personalized for them and those products, give them feedback on an ongoing basis. They're connected products, right., and we have the infrastructure to be able to connect 1000s and 1000s of terabytes of data. And they're connected products. And the products basically improve themselves. So they give feedback both to the end user, but then when they go and buy the next product, based on the data they've been providing, and the machine learning, the next version of the product will be improved versus what they have today. So I think making that connection with the end user, what's going to be the end use case with that technology. I think forums like this are great, that are going to help to connect and build those bridges.
Luca Venza 31:44
That's fantastic. So it all ends with you, right? Everyone's generating data. We're all at your mercy, Tommy. So make us feel good about this, right? How are you going to help us, how are you gonna help humanity, how are you gonna help the SDGs with all this data?
Tommy Bjorkberg 31:59
So what I would say is, you know, we're an innovation company, but we're just as good as, you know, what was coming out of science and academia, etc. I mean, we are there to commercialize. You know, we put products out in the market that all of you use every day, knowingly or not. Data is one thing, you know, we invest a lot in cybersecurity AI, machine learning. And we have a whole business line, which is built based on algorithms. Because that's a really important thing going forward. What I would say is, for me... I’ve divided it into two things. One is the innovation in the networks that power everything around us, which is things that people don't necessarily see. You know, we are pushing a lot of things, a lot of computing power to the edge of the network. And really, what does that do that puts a lot of computing power very close to you and me as individuals, without us even knowing about it, because it kind of exists there in the networks. What we do kind of notice more is the consumer devices and the wearables and things that we all use every day. And I think over the next five to 10 years, we'll see a whole next generation of wearables. Being that glass with augmented reality, which is drastically going to change how we interact with the world around us. You know, two people can walk down the street, but augmented reality means that we see different things when we look at different signs, different shop windows, you know, I don't have to take up my phone for navigation, I just have an arrow that shows me go left, go right, this will all be reality, this is not the pipe dream this is all this is all coming sooner than that than people think. But I think harnessing the data, like I said earlier and using that hyperconnectivity to do basic things like dim lights when people are not there, turn off fridges, an energy storage device, increase the traffic flow in our cities. You know, even when we move to EV vehicles, you know that there's going to be a long time before we stop burning fossil fuels, or use oils to make plastics etc., right. So we need to reduce all that. Yeah, I mean, data is going to be king. You know, the battlefield is data and the battlefield is artificial intelligence. And all that is going to be underpinned by frontier materials. And I mean, we haven't even started on quantum computing and Q-bits yet.
Luca Venza 34:33
Right. That's fantastic. Okay, I can see here that our time is up. I just want to encourage everyone, you have four very willing conversationalists here. We're going to have a couple of sessions right now and then after that will be the lunch break. So please do approach them. I know for a fact that if you're looking to get into research, you want to move to Singapore. There's a lot of recruitment going on right now. It's at C2DM and their affiliates. Mamoun is always looking for finance, if you're an investor and you really want to dip your toe in a very serious way into the field, please do come and approach them and have that conversation. For sure, if you're interested in the products that ZTE and HP are I'm sure they're happy to talk to you about what they're doing. And just a final message that we talked about in the beginning, really, you know, the postdocs in the room. I think we're all expecting you to become very active. So I think most of this event is really for you, and to encourage you to think really creatively about your careers and about what kind of contribution you can make in this field, so we hope to talk to all of you there. With that, we'll end the panel. I want to say thank you to everyone with a round of applause, please.