A £7 million government investment in research has been announced by the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council today.
The investment will total in excess of £14 million including contributions from private companies. It will be shared by 70 UK companies, universities and research organisation and it is hoped that it will lead to the development and commercialisation of innovative approaches to sustainable manufacturing in the process industry.
The investment will fund 17 major R&D projects into innovative process technologies which will impact on a wide range of sectors, including food and drink, chemicals, construction and aerospace. The collaborative projects will be led by major names such as Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), Scionix and C-Tech Innovation.
ICI is collaborating with High Force Research, Durham University and the University of Manchester to develop ways of eliminating solvents in paints. Scionix is working with the University of Leicester and Rolls-Royce to develop a process for electro polishing aerospace castings using ionic liquids, which are more efficient and contain no strong acids. C-Tech is developing a low-energy baking system which could reduce energy consumption in the baking industry by 20%.
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “This research and development will lead to innovations in manufacturing that will improve economic performance, benefit the environment and have a positive social impact.”
Professor David Delpy, chief executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPRSC), said: “Projects and businesses developing sustainable processes will, in turn, deliver new opportunities for further research as well as the financial and environmental returns.”