My name is Sarah Connolly and it is my job within Innovate UK to drive innovation in the Foundation Industries.
As part of the Clean Growth Grand Challenge within the government’s Industrial Strategy, the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge aims to help businesses across the foundation industries (metals, glasses, paper, ceramics, cements and bulk chemicals) share expertise and develop radical innovations to increase their sustainability and remain internationally competitive.
About the challenge
The Challenge will invest £149 million through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to ensure these sectors make improvements to their energy and resource efficiency, meaning they are ready to meet the government commitment of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Over the span of the Challenge, a new £50 million pilot facility will be set up to accelerate development of promising clean technologies.
Funding will be provided for industry-led research into ways to utilise resources such as raw materials and energy more efficiently, for university-led research into radical new technologies.
Co-investment partnerships with the financial sector will encourage greater investment in fast-moving technology companies that can reduce the environmental impact of these industries.
Above all, these sectors will be brought together as the Foundation Industries, allowing cross-sector development of solutions to common resource and energy efficiency challenges.
On the 28th October 2019, the Transforming Foundation Industries launched its first competition. Up to £5 million was available for cross-sector, collaborative, short duration industrial research and development projects.
Through the many high-quality applications received, with consortia involving 89 companies and research organisations, spanning all 6 sectors, 13 successful projects are due to launch, with the first having started on the 1st July 2020.
This series of blogs covers the cross-cutting challenges facing these industries, and highlights some of the amazing work already being done to increase innovation within these sectors in the early stages of the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge.
These challenges cover innovations in waste utilisation and symbiosis, heat recovery, sensor development and digitalisation and energy efficient process developments as well as social challenges.
You can go to the Innovate UK website