The Northern Ireland Centre for Advanced Materials (NICAM) was established in 1995 by a group of scientists from materials and other disciplines in the universities of Northern Ireland. It was instigated by the Industrial Research & Technology Unit (IRTU) through its Technology Development Programme with support from the European Regional Development Fund. The research groups involved have pioneered advances in areas such as biomedical and environmental sensor technologies, diamond-like carbon and other surface coatings, flat panel displays, scanning probe microscopy, magnetic and magneto-optical recording, semiconductor and other thin film devices and fabrication techniques. This world class resource of knowledge and skills is now available to all industries making use of advanced materials within Ireland and further afield. The Centre seeks to promote mutual awareness, to encourage commercial exploitation of existing technologies and to stimulate innovative R&D between industrial manufacturers, users, and research groups.