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Transforming Foundation Industries Research and Innovation hub

Transforming Foundation Industries Research and Innovation hub

Jonathan Cullen has joined Cranfield University and other collaborators in a research consortium examining how the Foundation Industries can grow and develop while helping achieve the Net Zero 2050 environmental targets.

TransFIRe (Transforming Foundation Industries Research and Innovation hub) was developed in response to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund call to transform the Foundation Industries: Chemicals, Cement, Ceramics, Glass, Metals and Paper. These industries produce 75% of all materials in the UK economy and are vital for the UK’s manufacturing and construction industries.

Together, the Foundation Industries are worth £52billion to the UK economy and produce 28million tonnes of materials per year, accounting for about 10% of the UK total CO2 emissions.

The UK Government wants to make these industries more internationally competitive, to secure jobs in these industries and help them grow. UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) has allocated £4.7 M for three years to work with universities, research organisations and industry, to assist with technology development and transfer, new business developments and new opportunities in materials and technologies to help to achieve the Net Zero 2050 target.

TransFIRe is a consortium of 20 researchers from 12 institutions, 49 companies and 14 non-governmental organisations related to the sectors, with expertise across the foundation industries as well as energy mapping, life cycle and sustainability, industrial symbiosis, computer science, AI and digital manufacturing, management and business, social sciences and technology transfer.

TransFIRe is led by Professor Mark Jolly, Director of Manufacturing at Cranfield University with Dr Jonathan Cullen as co-investigator among others from Bangor, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, Northumbria, Sheffield Hallam and York universities and the British Geological Survey. This programme will develop a self-sustaining Hub of expertise to support the Foundation Industries’ transformation into non-polluting, resource efficient modern competitive manufactories working in harmony with the communities in which they are situated, providing attractive places to be employed with unparalleled ED&I performance.

For more information, visit Cranfield’s website here and read the UKRI announcement here.

Photo credit: Christopher Burns