The non-profit company Glass Futures, which aims to promote glass manufacturing in the UK, should see a launch of activities later this year.
The initiative started in Sheffield by the UK glass sector’s trade body British Glass to build a “Centre of Excellence” in glass R&D, Training and production improvement.
The programme has now made significant progress through collaboration with partners from industry and academia.
Glass Futures plans to construct two centres employing dozens of highly skilled staff, creating hundreds of related jobs across the supply-chain.
While the sites have not been finalised, one of the Hubs is planned in the Liverpool City Region and the other in Yorkshire, between Sheffield and Leeds.
Glass Futures’ aims include dramatically reducing carbon emissions by at least 80%, substantial energy utilisation reduction, alternative raw materials and energy sources as well as new product development and innovation, particularly in healthcare and military applications.
Working with the supply chain and academia, Glass Futures intends to mirror the government’s Industrial and Clean Growth Strategies.
Household names like Siemens and Swarovski will work alongside glass industry giants including O-I, Encirc, Pilkington and Guardian Glass on this initiative.
Leading universities including Leeds, Cambridge, Nottingham, Liverpool, Sheffield Hallam and Swansea will provide the academic knowledge and technical know-how assisting the industry collaboration in this more than £35m project.
Richard Katz, founding director of Glass Futures, said: “It’s truly amazing that we’ve raised the bar to galvanise industry, academia and government to promote glass manufacturing in the UK to a position of global leadership with investments coming not just from the UK, but from the US and Europe too.
“It will be fantastic to position the UK glass industry at the very forefront of global manufacturing excellence and future ambition – a triumph for the sector, the government and the UK.”