Carbon reduction ambitions across key industries are being supported by a £19.5 million award from Innovate UK to the Foundation Industries Sustainability Consortium (FISC).
Carbon reduction efforts will be boosted by the award that aims to support the scale-up of sustainable technologies for the foundation industries.
This award is to run the Economic Material Innovation for Sustainable and Efficient use of Resources (ECONOMISER) programme. The programme will develop a network of scale-up centres to support industry and academic engagement in innovation in: carbon reduction; process improvement; product development.
The foundation industries comprise the following sectors: glass; cement; paper; metal; ceramic; chemical. They contribute over £50 billion to the UK economy and produce 75% of all the material on the planet.
They are vital to our manufacturing and construction sectors. However, they generate nearly half of all industrial carbon emissions and need to quickly transform to ensure we live in a sustainable way.
This requires specialist facilities which enable companies to trial new technologies at scale. Without such facilities, sectors struggle to demonstrate new technologies at a commercially relevant scale and therefore cannot secure the investment needed to change production processes that will decarbonise their manufacturing processes.
FISC comprises: Centre for Process Innovation; Glass Futures Ltd; Materials Processing Institute; Henry Royce Institute; FISC will run the ECONOMISER programme to supplement their world class research facilities to support 5 themes of: circular economy; process optimisation; alternative fuels; new material development; digital controls and sensors.
By working together these centres will address carbon reduction and sustainability challenges shared across the foundation industries. FISC partners already work in well-established innovation networks, successfully bringing together academia, public sector and commercial companies to deliver positive impact for the foundation industries.
“The foundation industries are a vital part of UK manufacturing and this is an exciting programme to start the journey to transition to a low carbon future,” said Mike Biddle, executive director of Net Zero, Innovate UK. “This funding will provide the sector with the tools needed to progress carbon reduction strategies.
“By developing a test bed of facilities that enable companies to ’try before they buy’, it makes it easier for business to develop innovative approaches to decarbonisation. Industry will be able to assess the benefit, explore how to work with the technology and then integrate those technologies into their manufacturing site.”
Graham Hillier, programme board chair, ECONOMISER said: “The consortium is leveraging investments in existing centres to extend their current capability. The centres will work together in the ECONOMISER project to help ensure that the UK has competitive low carbon materials to build homes, develop infrastructure, manufacture vehicles, produce personal care products, deliver digital services, and supply well packaged and protected foodstuffs.”