In a landmark move aimed at transforming the foundational industries, a group comprising the CPI, Glass Futures, Lucideon, the Materials Processing Institute, and the Henry Royce Institute has joined forces under the banner of the Foundation Industries Sustainability Consortium (FISC).
This collaborative effort intends to reshape the production landscape of indispensable materials that form the backbone of everyday life.
The significance of materials from these foundational industries, ranging from the construction essentials like cement and metals to the glass in smartphones, ceramic ware, and various household commodities, cannot be overstated. However, the production of these materials contributes to a staggering 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Acknowledging their indispensability yet environmental impact, FISC is determined to drive innovation towards sustainability, aiming to curtail the carbon footprint of these industries.
Graham Hillier, FISC and EconoMISER Project Chair, said:
“By working together FISC can leverage the deep understanding and capabilities of its partners to help the companies operating in the foundation industries and the supply chains that use their materials improve.
“All of the centres are well established in their own right and support innovation in their own industries. We felt that by working together on cross cutting themes that affect the whole of the foundation industries there was an opportunity to combine our capabilities in ways that can identify and transfer best practice between the centres and, more importantly, into manufacturing plants and supply chains to enhance the UK’s position economically, environmentally, and socially.”
The consortium's flagship initiative, EconoMISER (Economic Materials Innovation for the Sustainable and Efficient Use of Resources), funded by Innovate UK as part of the Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Challenge, is set to capitalise on the collaborative innovation capabilities of the member institutions. EconoMISER is dedicated to establishing a network of scale-up centres across FISC, aligning with its overarching objectives and themes.
Dr. Ben Walsh, Deputy Director of Transforming Foundation Industries at Innovate UK, emphasised the openness of FISC to industry participants, inviting them to engage and spearhead projects that will propel foundational industries forward. He stated, “FISC is open to all in the industry, and we welcome them to engage and plan projects that will drive the foundation industries forward. FISC will provide support through access to the equipment and services of its members.
“The depth of expertise across a wide range of innovation activities means that FISC can bring together unparalleled expertise that can help its partners reach practical solutions more quickly and at lower cost than if each partner worked independently.”
Identifying common challenges faced by foundation industry manufacturers worldwide, FISC aims to address critical issues such as reducing raw material demand by incorporating more recycled materials, developing sustainable and low-carbon manufacturing techniques, and fortifying the UK's manufacturing assets for a future-oriented market.
The consortium will focus its efforts on six pivotal themes: alternative fuels, digital sensing, process optimisation, sustainable materials, circular economy, and training and skills development. With the launch of its website, FISC aims to amplify its mission, inviting stakeholders to join forces in shaping a more sustainable future for foundational industries.
For more information on FISC and its transformative goals, visit www.ukfisc.org.