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 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:
28/06/21 - Leading Aluminium Recycling Organisation (ALUPRO) joins the UK Metals Council.
ALUPRO, the industry funded, not for profit, aluminium recycling organisation has recently joined the UK Metals Council, UKMC.
26/05/21 - The CRU Steel Decarbonisation Strategies 2021 Virtual Conference
The CRU Steel Decarbonisation Strategies 2021 Virtual Conference will bring together leaders from across the global steel value chain gather to discuss pathways to carbon neutrality, what financial tools are available to support these investments and what policy frameworks are needed to make them viable.
26/04/21 - UK Metals Council welcomed the consultation on BAT regulations, urging a consistent UK-wide approach for environmental improvements.
The UK Government, and the devolved administrations, are putting in place a new regime for the development of ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT) that prevents and minimises impact on the environment from UK industry.