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ExeMPLaR Biomaterials Hackathon: A hands-on approach to research using local abundant natural resources.

January 23, 2020 @ 9:00 am - January 24, 2020 @ 4:00 pm

Biomaterials Hackathon: A hands-on approach to research using local abundant natural resources.


We are pleased to invite you to attend this exciting 2-day Hackathon, (Thursday 23rd January & Friday 24th January 2020) organised by the University of Exeter ExeMPLaR (Multidisciplinary Plastics Research Hub) & TEVI research projects & Zoë Powell & Pilar Bolumburu from Materiom.

The workshop hackathon will cover a series of topics which will be set over 2 days; with a focus on using local resources that are readily available and abundant, coming from local systems including waste resources and with the idea of exploring bio-benign materials and their properties.

  • Day 1: will focus on developing the biomaterials industry, getting close to the materials and discovering on-going research with an industry focus.
  • Day 2: will be getting hands-on with biomaterials making in a series of sessions and experiments.

Over the course of the two days participants will:

1. Be introduced to the opportunities of biomaterials and the vision of Materiom (Day 1)

2. Explore the Materiom materials library, a diverse collection of abundant natural ingredients, bio -plastics and –  composites (Day 1)

3. Learn how to source and select ingredients from locally abundant sources (Day 1)

4. Create their own unique biomaterials (Day 2)

5. Explore material properties & variations for biomaterials (Day 2)

6. Design for end of life by testing biodegradability (Day 2)

Day 1 Agenda: (Up to 40 participants) Thursday 23rd January 2020

09:30 – 10.00              Registration & Refreshments (Masters Suite)

10.00 – 10.05              Welcome: Professor Peter Hopkinson (University of Exeter)

10:05 – 10:30              Introduction to Biomaterials by Zoë Powell (Materiom)

10:30 – 11:00              Showcase of Materiom Samples Library with access to touch & discuss biomaterial                                                    properties.

11.00 – 11:30              Locals & Stakeholders introductions – Mapping regional resources & interests

  • Please feel free to bring a small quantity of a resource you are interested in researching (up to 1kg/1L) to show other participants

11:30 – 11:45              Tea & Coffee available

11:45 – 12:15              Materiom approach to building Community – open source research, local & international                                       projects, Data Analysis, the focus of current industry & business examples.

12:15 – 13:00              Demonstration of 2 different Materiom bioplastic recipes

13:00 –14:00               Lunch & Networking (opportunity to meet local network & potential project development)

14:00 – 14:40              Workshop Sessions Part 1:

                                    Group 1: Biomimicry Introduction & activity (Masters Suite)

                                    Group 2: Design Opportunities with Circular Design & prototyping activity (REEF)

 14:40 – 15:00             Tea & Coffee available/ swapping of Groups 1&2

 15:00 – 15:40             Workshop Sessions Part 2:

                                   Group 1: Biomimicry Introduction & activity (Masters Suite)

                                   Group 2: Design Opportunities with Circular Design & prototyping activity (REEF)

 15:40 – 16:00             Close/Day Overview (Masters Suite)

  • Discuss results & future application ideas
  • Importance of building upon local networks & systems
  • Concluding Remarks & Next Steps


Master’s Suite, Daphne Du Maurier Building, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall TR113QJ & REEF, Penryn Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE

Day 2 Agenda: (up to 15 participants) Friday 24th January 2020

09:30 – 10.00              Registration & Refreshments (Masters Suite)

10.00 – 10.05              Welcome: Professor Peter Hopkinson (University of Exeter)

10.05 – 10:30              Review of Day 1 & Overview of Day 2 activities

10:30 – 11:30              1st Experiment session – Dyes & Essence (REEF Building)

  • Making of a Natural dye using collected local materials
  • Chromatography & PH balance tests
  • Making of biomaterial using Natural dye

 11:30 – 11:45             Tea & Coffee available

 11:45 – 13:00              2nd Experiment session – Variations

 13:00 –14:00               Lunch & Networking – opportunity to discuss scale & production processes

 14:00 –15:00               3rd Experiment session – Biocomposites & binders

  • Experiments of recipes as binders & variations
  • Using local resources (including sawdust, seafood & restaurant waste)

 15:00 –15:40               Activity – Intro to biodesign

  • Based on biomaterial making sessions, we’ll be asking: what applications could we design for? and what material properties do we need to test?

 15:40 – 16:00              Close – Day Overview

  • Discuss results & importance
  • Introduction to future Design Sprint with biomaterials in March 2020 (Date TBC)

 16:00                           Event Ends

 Special requirements:

 For Day 1 or Day 2:

  • Please feel free to bring a small quantity of a resource you are interested in (up to 1kg/1L) to show other participants
  • ….or for researching and experimenting with on Day 2.

 For Day 2:

  • Please wear old clothes or bring an apron as it will be quite hands on.

Directions and travel:

Please find directions here. Number 3 on the map – Master’s Suite, Daphne Du Maurier Building, opposite the entrance to The Stannary (canteen) & REEF Building (Renewable Energy Engineering Facility) number 14 on the map.

Car Parking:

Car parking for this event is can be found on the University of Exeter campus – PLEASE NOTE parking is limited on campus. Please see map of Campus car parks here and/or car sharing so please offer a lift where you can, please find more information on car sharing here.


Places are limited so if you are unable to attend after signing up please do let us know.


Please contact Katie/ExeMPLaR Team at: [email protected] regarding any specific dietary requirements, if you wish to register without using Eventbrite, or for any other questions regarding the event.

Data protection and privacy:

  • To aid organisation of this event, attendee information may be shared with relevant staff in the University and partner organisations. For example, a list of attendees could be provided to speakers, or catering choices to our caterers.
  • We will store your information securely, so that we can communicate to you about the event (for example, cancellation of event, changes to the itinerary, a satisfaction survey or links to more information).
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Materiom provides open source recipes and data on materials made from abundant sources of natural ingredients, like agricultural waste. By making this knowledge open, we accelerate materials development and lower barriers to entry in materials markets around the world. We work with companies, cities and communities to support the development of local biomaterial supply chains that nourish local ecologies and economies.

Link: www.materiom.org


Zoë Powell is a multi-disciplinary Designer who has worked on commissions, projects and events in the UK and internationally for a variety of industries including art, fashion and interior architecture. She is a graduate from Central Saint Martins, Fabricademy Barcelona and Explore Enterprise with The Princes Trust.She is now a Researcher and Facilitator of Biomaterial development as well as Head of Outreach and education at Materiom.

Link: https://www.instagram.com/zoepowellbest/

Pilar Bolumburu is a Material Researcher and Content Manager at Materiom. She is a graduate from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and Fabacademy program of the global FabLab network. Her work has focused on the interaction between design, digital fabrication and technologies and is currently pursuing a Masters in Education and Technology at University College London.
Link: https://www.instagram.com/pilarbolumburu/

Kind regards

ExeMPLaR Team


University of Exeter – ExeMPLaR – Multidisciplinary Plastics Research Hub


Master’s Suite
Daphne Du Maurier Building, Penryn, TR109FE
Penryn, TR109FE GB
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