Collaboration is at the heart of Lucideon’s efforts to make the world a materially better place
One thing we’ve learned through years of growing successful partnerships across industry is that the best collaborations are the ones that lead to a mutual enhancement of capabilities for all parties involved. Working with talented peers across industry is a powerful force multiplier for positive change, and throughout our history we’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best.
Earlier this year we strengthened our relationship with the National Composites Centre (NCC), based in Emersons Green, Bristol, for the purpose of developing advanced ceramic composites solutions. The NCC is an independent, open-access technology centre delivering world-class research and development, with a key focus on composites, hydrogen, digital engineering, and sustainability, across a range of sectors.
This collaboration will make the most of each party’s strengths. Lucideon will focus on providing analysis and evaluation, and supporting the development of advanced materials and applications, with NCC concentrating on full system and product design, and industrial scale development.
We’ve also recently undertaken a successful partnership with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Founded on synergies between the specialisations of both parties, Lucideon’s work in advanced materials technologies complements the high-performance computing and AI capabilities of the Hartree Centre at STFC Daresbury. This partnership holds tremendous potential to meet rapidly developing market needs in sectors that thrive on the cutting edge of material science.
Lucideon is a partner in the Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group (MICG) alongside Rolls-Royce, Morgan Advanced Materials, AEON Engineering, the University of Nottingham, and many other industrial and academic partners from across the Midlands. Our membership of this consortium has led to participation in projects with truly groundbreaking outcomes for all parties involved, including the successful bid for funding through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship ‘Strength in Places Fund’ (SIPF).
One of the MICG’s core aims is to enhance industrial ability to develop innovative ceramic technologies with speedy marketplace adoption; the funding from SIPF augments this process, creating a ‘virtuous circle’ ecosystem for the entire Midlands industrial base and strengthening the UK advanced ceramics supply chain.
The UK National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is owned by the UK Government’s Department of Energy, Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). NNL’s vision is to deliver world-leading nuclear expertise and innovative solutions and their purpose is to serve the national interest and create value for its customers by pushing the boundaries of science, technology, and innovation.
Since 2020, Lucideon has supported NNL under the Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme (AFCP) with the development and implementation of our Flash Sintering techniques to enhance UK capability for a future world-leading fuel manufacturing facility. The project also led to the University of Manchester installing and commissioning a uranium active Flash Sintering furnace in partnership with Lucideon and NNL, utilising Lucideon Flash Sintering software and expertise. This enhances Flash Sintering as a feasible route to manufacture nuclear fuel pellets, as well as training and developing academic researchers and industrial partners in its use on uranium active material.
In October 2023, NNL extended its work with Lucideon as a continued demonstration of the value that Lucideon and the AMRICC centre is providing to key UK national infrastructure projects in support of Net Zero and energy security.
The NNL’s 2021 Strategic Report quotes their Chief Science and Technology Officer, Dr Fiona Rayment, as saying that collaboration is key in the nuclear sector, because no single area of expertise resides in just one organisation. The stellar results generated by our work together prove this.
Development, scale up, and industrialisation of Flash Sintering is a key element of Lucideon’s Nuclear sector business growth strategy and this partnership reflects the collaborative efforts of all involved.
FISC / EconoMISER
Lucideon is a member of the Foundation Industries Sustainability Consortium (FISC), alongside the Henry Royce Institute, the CPI (Centre for Process Innovation), the MPI (Materials Processing Institute), and Glass Futures. FISC brings together global leaders in innovation, research, and technology from across the cement, metal, glass, ceramic, paper, polymer, and chemical industries to deliver global innovation in low-carbon resource-efficient sustainable solutions.
The aim is to transform these essential industries that contribute over £50bn each year to the UK economy.
FISC's first project is known as Economic Materials Innovation for the Sustainable and Efficient Use of Resources (EconoMISER) and is funded by Innovate UK as part of the Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Challenge, building on the existing innovation capability of the partners. The programme will develop a network of scale-up centres to support industry and academic engagement in innovation in carbon reduction, process improvement, and product development.
Lucideon, as one of the FISC partners, is taking the lead in three key workstreams: geopolymer scale-up, hydrogen kiln conversion for sustainable ceramics production, and process optimisation within the ceramics industry through the application of sensors, collection of time-series data, and machine learning data processing, with activity commencing in earnest at a number of industry locations in Q4 2023.