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TFI Network+ announces funding for 10 new research projects in digitalisation and sustainability

UKRI-ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries Network+ awards over £400,000 to 5 digitalisation themed research projects and 5 Early Career Researcher projects boosting sustainability and innovation in the Foundation Industries 

The Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Network+ has awarded funding to 10 research projects in its third round of flexible funding. This call included a call for digitalisation themed projects and an open themed call for Early Career Researchers (ECRs). The projects have strong industry collaboration and will undertake innovative research to improve sustainability and transformation across the sectors.

‘We are pleased to announce the results of our latest funding call from TFI Network+. Our parallel calls for themed projects and open ECR led projects allowed a variety of innovative research to be proposed, which we strongly believe will positively impact the Foundation Industries’

– Professor Ian Reaney, TFI Network+ Director 

Successful projects in the digitalisation themed funding call were:

  • ‘Introducing high-temperature hyperspectral electronics to the foundation industries’ – Prof Jon Wilmot, University of Sheffield
  • ‘Data-driven optimisation framework for assessing energy and emission saving potentials in foundation’ – Dr. Alessandra Parisio. University of Manchester
  • ‘Micromachined based Multi-Sensing Solution toward Digitalisation of Foundation Industries’ – Dr. Amal Hajjaj, Loughborough University
  • ‘Physics-informed digital twins for industrial heating processes (twin4heat)’ – Dr. Yukun Hu, University College London
  • ‘Sustainable advanced manufacturing via ML-assisted exploitation of sensing and data infrastructure’ – Dr. Iñaki Esnaola, University of Sheffield

Successful projects in the open Early Career Researcher funding call were:

  • ‘Low-carbon manufacturing of mineral wool using steelmaking slags and silicatewastes from multisector’ – Zhiming Yan, University of Warwick
  • ‘Atomistic scale simulation of the magnetic anisotropy in steels’ – Lei Zhou, University of Warwick
  • ‘Accurate Emissivity Characterisation of Metals from Near Infrared (NIR) to Long Wave Infrared (LWIR)’ – Matthew Hobbs, University of Sheffield
  • ‘High Temperature Optical Fibre Coatings for Next Generation Gas Emission Monitoring (HiT OFCs)’ – Ronak Janani, Sheffield Hallam University
  • ‘Digital tools for agile waste segregation’ – Dinh Nguyen, London South Bank University

In May 2022, the Network announced a new Early Career Researcher funding call, welcoming proposals in all areas of the Network including energy efficiency, circular economy and policy and advocacy. 

“The Network recognises the need to support Early Career Researchers, and we are pleased to be able to help support new and innovative projects in the Foundation Industries. It is our hope that this funding call will help bring new ideas to the Foundation Industries with new collaborations and fresh viewpoints.  Support for Early Career Researcher will have a valuable impact on the Foundation Industries, helping to address the skills gap in industry and bringing young talent into the sectors’

– Professor Susan Bernal Lopez, TFI Network+ Co-Director

The Foundation Industries (consisting of cement, metals, ceramics, paper, glass and chemicals sectors) are some of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK and are worth over £52 billion to the UK economy. Each sector is facing challenges on the path to Net-Zero, including consumption of raw materials and recycling of waste products. To date, the TFI Network+ has awarded over £900,000 to a total of 21 projects.

These new projects will begin in July 2022 and results will be shared with the community at future workshops, conferences and events. 

UKRI-ISCF TFI Network+, launched in January 2021 with the aim of assisting the foundation industries (namely glass, paper, ceramics, cement, metals and bulk chemicals) to remain competitive whilst simultaneously facing challenges from environmental legislation and the drive towards net-zero carbon 2050. The core aim of TFI Network+ is to co-create with the Foundation Industries new science and technology that can transform their sustainability and performance by coordinating and channelling a wide range of expertise throughout UK academia in themes such as circular economy, energy efficiency and next generation processes. Those interested are invited to become members of the Network by completing the online membership form on TFI Network+. Members are kept up to date with activities including events and news from across the sector, as well as take part in funding calls by submitting proposals for consideration. Become a member at

Published: May 18th, 2022
Posted in TFI Network+ News

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