Transforming foundation industries challenge

Oil and gas refinery industry plant at night

This ISCF challenge will develop innovative technology to reduce energy and resource use within the foundation industries – which include the cement, glass, ceramics, paper, metals and bulk chemicals sectors.

The challenge has up to £66 million to invest in projects, match-funded by £83 million from the private sector. The projects will look at new ways to reduce waste and energy use and in a new research facility to accelerate development of promising clean technologies.

The economic benefit of this is two-fold:

  • Securing jobs for the future across the UK: the sector provides almost 500,000 skilled jobs in 31,400 firms, mainly in areas outside of London and the South East
  • Anchoring high-value manufacturing in the UK: these sectors underpin high value manufacturing, and without them the UK will become less competitive.

Key aims for the challenge include:

  • providing funding opportunities to accelerate development of clean glass technologies
  • supporting research on new ways to reduce waste and energy use
  • supporting university-led research into radical new technologies
  • developing foundation industries’ common identity to better meet challenges for the sector
  • partnering with the financial sector to encourage more investment in technology companies that can reduce the environmental impact of the sector.

See the first research projects funded under this challenge.

UKRI has awarded £2 million to set up a network to promote cooperation across the academic community towards transforming foundation industries.

A series of funding calls will be launched in 2021: please visit the funding finder.

Further information

Project case studies

See some examples of projects funded under this challenge:

Last updated: 1 November 2021

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