Siemens investment boosts the UK glass industry

Posted on 19 Nov 2014 by Jonny Williamson

Siemens has announced a £4m technology partnership with trade organisation, the British Glass Manufacturers Confederation.

Over the next five years, the global engineering company will invest up to £4m as a key strategic partner to the UK glass sector and work alongside British Glass in critical areas including technology, R&D and skill support services.

With a mission to ensure the UK glass industry remains globally competitive, British Glass is currently embarking upon its latest development phase, a core element of which will be the establishment of the new British Glass Innovation Centre.

Described as the first of its kind anywhere in the world, the facility will provide a centre of excellence for glass manufacturers and support the development of an innovative culture and skills for the sector.

The centre, planned to be built on the Phase 2 site of Sheffield Business Park, will include fully functioning glass production plants, as well as promoting leadership in important areas such as new product development and fast prototyping.

It will also be home to The Glass Academy, the training and skills development initiative set up by British Glass to train the next generation of engineers and technicians entering the sector with the relevant fit-for-purpose skills and qualifications, and to continue to upskill the industry’s current workforce, encouraging a culture of lifelong learning in the sector.

CEO of British Glass, Dave Dalton commented: “Siemens is the first major partner to commit to working with us on the journey to an exciting and highly competitive future. The breadth of Siemens’ technical expertise and support offered to us through the partnership will be vital if we are to successfully transform our industry for the 21st century.

“In addition, the concerted efforts by Siemens to help us develop the skills of people in the sector, as well as those entering it, ensures we have a powerful combination to push our industry forward over the next five years.”

Noting that Siemens has a long established relationship with the glass industry across the UK, it’s Digital Factory MD (Siemens UK & Ireland) Brian Holliday, added: “By developing this technology partnership we want to ensure glass manufacturing is at the heart of the future of manufacturing agenda.”