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The metals sector in the UK is very diverse, ranging from large multinationals producing primary raw materials, to SMEs located all around the UK supplying castings, forgings and a wide range of other services into the Advanced Manufacturing supply chain as well as a robust supply chain for the recycling and re-use of metals.

Process and product innovation will be vital if the UK Metals Industry is to grow and thrive.  Yet the metals sector, like so many foundation industries, is often overlooked as it is incorrectly perceived to not be novel or innovative.  In addition, research shows that many companies, and SMEs in particular, do not value research and development (R&D). This is due to the cost, the perceived high rate of failure and the lack of quick returns on investment.

To achieve the Industry’s 2030 vision, a forward-thinking, collaborative approach to R&D needs to embed innovation throughout the industry, from the smallest company to the largest organisation.

The UKMC will engage with the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund: Transforming the Foundation Industries.

The Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge, part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, ISCF, 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.

The UKMC recognises that as one of the foundation industries, alongside glass, cement, bulk chemicals, paper and ceramics, it has a role to play in ensuring that the sector is able steer any projects so that its member companies, who are all part of the metals sector supply chain, are able to fully engage and benefit from the results of research work carried out. 

The UKMC seeks to exploit any opportunities for coordinated activity and cross-cutting research through the cross-sector knowledge transfer that will be enabled through the new ISCF in order to improve the sectors productivity and global competitiveness.

To encourage innovation, commitments sought from policymakers may include:

  • Resourcing to support the UK Metals Industry’s efforts to widen participation in R&D.
  • Embedding the UK Metals Industry’ firmly into the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult network.
  • Promoting better funding frameworks for large-scale breakthrough technology demonstration.



02/07/24 - State of the UK Metals Industry in the UK 2024/2025
UK Metals Council have created this year's report on the State of the Metals Industry in the UK that will be launched at the upcoming UK Metals Expo in September and some of the report findings will be presented as part of the lecture series at the exhibition.


07/09/23 - Metals sector optimistic despite international trade, energy and labour challenges warns new report
Rising energy prices, the impact of life after the EU and labour shortages continue to be the main challenges facing the UK metals sector according to a new report due to be launched next week.


18/07/23 - UK Metals Expo Showcases Innovation and Growth in Metal Manufacturing
BIRMINGHAM, England, July 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- UK Metals Expo (www.ukmetalsexpo.com), the premier event for the metal manufacturing and engineering sectors, will take place on 13th and 14th September at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.