Pressure plays an important role in materials science and engineering. It can influence how a material behaves. It can alter the material’s state or phase. Changes in pressure can be important for depositing materials atop substrates or taking accurate measurements of their surface properties. Extremely low pressures are often required to obtain high-resolution, nanometre-scale electron micrographs. As it turns out, “pressure” is also a great way of thinking about the various funding streams available to support innovations based on advanced materials. For scientists who are used to working with the tools of materials science, the following pressure-based analogy may make the funding landscape seem a little bit more relatable – although note that none of this information should be taken in a vacuum.