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TFI Network+ awards over £300,000 to research projects on circular economy and resource efficiency in Foundation Industries

UKRI-ISCF Transforming Foundation Industries Network+ awards over £300,000 to fund six innovative projects in the area of circular economy and resource efficiency for the Foundation Industries. 

The Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Network+ has awarded funding to 6 research projects in its second round of flexible funding. The projects have strong industry collaboration and will undertake innovative research to improve sustainability and transformation across the sectors, exploring circular economy, resource efficiency and resource recovery for Foundation Industries. 

The Network ran a competitive funding process, inviting applications focusing on the re-use, recycling and repurposing of products and raw materials to ensure that we utilise resources more sustainably and to minimise the environmental impact of manufacturing. Research projects were encouraged to consider multi-sector ideas and innovation, ensuring research could be beneficial to a range of Foundation Industry sectors. 

Successful projects in the latest funding call were:

  • ‘Innovative green process to turn alkali solid wastes into carbon-negative feedstock for cement’ – Dr Xinyuan Ke, University of Bath
  • ‘Sustainable investment assurance model: SIAM’ – Dr Stephen Spooner, University of Swansea
  • ‘Sustainable replacements for coal tar pitch binders’ – Dr Cristina Valles, University of Manchester
  • ‘Paper and construction industry symbiosis via AD for resource efficiency and a low carbon future’ – Dr Silvia Tedesco, Manchester Metropolitan University 
  • ‘Valorisation of metallurgical wastes through chemically bonded ceramics’ – Dr Sam Adu-Amankwah, University of Leeds
  • ‘SANDTHERM: Deployment of a medium-high temperature waste heat recovery unit based on foundry sand’ – Dr Argyrios Anagnostopoulos, University of Birmingham

“Sustainability in the Foundation Industries relies heavily on the ability to re-use and re-purpose resources. These projects will help create more with less and deliver greater value for less input. They will help to propel sustainability in Foundation Industries, with innovation and ideas which can influence manufacturing and resource usage’ – Professor Ian Reaney, TFI Network+ Director

“Using resources industries already have in a more sustainable way is vital to the long term success in the Foundation Industries. Recent conversations from COP26 have once again placed climate change at the heart of UK industry, with the UK Government setting ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions and dramatically boost sustainability over the next 25 years. Investing in research in the areas of circular economy and resource efficiency, particularly enabling waste valorisation, will allow the Foundation Industries to consider new ways of working, trial new ideas and implement new practises to reach Net-Zero’ – 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 £52billion 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 £500,000 to a total of 12 projects.

These new projects will begin in February 2022 and results will be shared with the community at future workshops, conferences and events. In the following months the Network+ will launch a new funding call. Further details for which  will be available at

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 channeling 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: December 2nd, 2021
Posted in TFI Network+ News

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