University of Manchester in consortium to ensure UK is a leader in sustainable materials manufacture

The University of Manchester is contributing to a newly announced national consortium to help catalyse engagement with the foundation industries – vital for the UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors – and to help them develop a national strategy to improve sustainability.

The announcement follows the award of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to establish a Network+ to underpin the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The foundation industries – which span the glass, ceramics, metals, paper, cement and bulk chemicals sectors – are worth £52 billion to the UK’s economy, produce 28 million tonnes of materials per year and accounts for 10 per cent of the UK’s total CO₂ emissions.

In line with the Climate Change Act (2008), there is a need to reduce carbon emissions to 80 per cent below the levels that were seen in 1990 by 2050 – while the stress on global supply chains in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis has further demonstrated the importance of re-use and recycling in the manufacturing sector.

It is paramount therefore, for the UK’s foundation industries to innovate in order to remain internationally competitive.

The Network+ will catalyse engagement not just between academics and industry, but crucially it provides a platform for that engagement to span the sectors of the foundation industries, building a community to meet the challenges of truly sustainable high volume materials manufacture.

Professor Bill Sampson