The UK’s Glass Futures is building momentum and 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, has made progress through collaboration with partners from industry and academia.
It plans to construct two centres employing dozens of staff and creating hundreds of related jobs across the supply-chain.
One of the hubs is planned in the Liverpool City region and the other in Yorkshire between Sheffield and Leeds, although the sites have not been finalised.
The two transformational hubs, located in the Northern Powerhouse will be nationally significant and benefit the entire UK.
Glass Futures’ aims include reducing carbon emissions by at least 80%, 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 mirrors the Government’s Industrial and Clean Growth Strategies.
Household names such as Siemens and Swarovski will work alongside glass industry giants including O-I, Encirc, Pilkington and Guardian Glass in the initiative.
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 £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 USA and Europe too.
"It will be fantastic to position the UK glass industry at the forefront of global manufacturing excellence and future ambition.”