Foundation industries – cement, glass, ceramics, paper, metals and bulk chemicals – are vital for the UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors.
Combined, they are worth about £52 billion to the UK economy but they face common challenges:
- consumption of raw materials and energy use leading to significant operating costs and environmental impact, including 10% of all UK CO2 emissions
- operating in an internationally competitive landscape with long investment cycles
- benefits of innovation are not shared throughout the supply chain, limiting incentives to invest
The Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge, part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is investing £66 million in a partnership with UK businesses to develop sustainable technologies that reduce the environmental impact of the Foundation Industries (Cleantech for heavy industries).
This is to ensure that these sectors remain internationally competitive and are ready to meet the government commitment of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £8 million from the fund to invest in innovative research and development projects that address resource or energy efficiency of foundation industries.