Transforming Foundation Industries Cohort Event

Posted on: 14/07/2022
Ceramic sintering furnace

On the 23rd of June, Innovate UK KTN and Innovate UK held the first ever in-person Cohort Event for the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge (TFI).

Project leads and partners gathered at Church House in Westminster, London to showcase their projects and celebrate the successes of the challenge so far, as well as engage in discussions as to where the future priorities for TFI may lie.

The first session of the day, Harnessing the Power of Cross-sector Collaboration, chaired by Aston Fuller of Glass Futures, showcased two excellent case studies: Com2Coat and EnviroAsh. Cross-sector collaboration has always been an underpinning theme for TFI and both of these projects demonstrate how a whole supply chain approach can lead to improved products and reduce environmental impact. The Com2Coat project presented by Simon Hurst of Pilkington Group – NSG explored the use of AI digital tools to enhance traditional formulation methods (consortium includes: metals, glass and chemical sectors). Marlin Magallanes of Glass Technology Services outlined how the EnviroAsh project seeks to convert waste & by-products into new raw materials (this consortium involves all FI 6 sectors, the energy sector & the raw material supply chain).

23rd June also marks International Women in Engineering Day! The next session, Diversity in the Foundation Industries, highlighted just how much opportunity there is for developing ED&I strategy. Savina Venkova of HSSMI and Helen Hill of Johnson Matthey each shared their views on starting conversations around diversity, encouraging diversity of thought and working with allies. Savina and Helen also supported the launch of the Women Innovators in Foundation Industries (WINFI). 

Industrial Symbiosis is another strategic opportunity for the foundation industries. Chris Williams of Industry Wales and Tony Parton from CR Plus outlined the South Wales Industrial Cluster plans for industrial decarbonisation and regional energy efficiency in South Wales, with three of the biggest CO2 emitters involved in the cluster. Peter Laybourn of International Synergies gave an international perspective on industrial symbiosis successes, cleared common misconceptions and shared views with the audience on how the UK can advance with industrial symbiosis initiatives.

The day concluded with a dynamic panel session on Demand-led Innovation and its role in decarbonisation for the foundation industries. The panel consisted of Sanna Markkanen (Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership), Cheryl Anderson (Tata Steel), Adam Locke (Laing O’Rourke) and Sarah Davidson (Croda). They shared their views on customer engagement, their supply chains, the role of standards, digitalisation, government intervention and much more!

All in all, it was an amazing day for the Foundation Industries community. Together, we can increase innovation by understanding demand, willingness and capability.  Let us continue to build relationships for the future so we can decarbonise and reach net zero faster.

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Neelam Mughal

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Neelam Mughal

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