The Materials Processing Institute has received a £4.2m investment as part of the groundbreaking EconoMISER programme, new CEO Terry Walsh has announced.

The Teesside-based Institute is a key member of the Foundation Industries Sustainability Consortium (FISC) tasked with delivering the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funded initiative to scale-up sustainable technologies.

Mr Walsh, who took over as Institute CEO this week, said: “This support will fund investment in cutting-edge equipment and facilities enhancing research capabilities in areas which include alloy development, hot metal processing, furnace modelling techniques,  concrete and cement decarbonisation, and the testing of energy sources for refractories.”

The Institute will create a new and fully equipped Cement and Concrete Research Centre, as well as investing in predictive artificial intelligence technologies to support alloy development, new instrumentation to validate furnace modelling together with refractories testing equipment.

Phase 2 of EconoMISER represents a substantial commitment to decarbonising foundation industries such as metals, ceramics, glass, chemicals, paper and cement. Critical sectors for the UK economy.

FISC, which is dedicated to accelerating these foundation industries journey towards sustainability and net-zero objectives, includes other prominent research and technology centres including the Henry Royce Institute, Glass Futures, Centre for Process Innovation and Lucideon.

Together with the Materials Processing Institute, these centres are working together across five core areas, alternative fuels, recycling and reuse, digital control and sensors, process optimisation and the development of sustainable materials.

Announcing the new tranche of funding, Mr Walsh added: “I’m thrilled to join the Materials Processing Institute at such a pivotal moment.

“This £4.2 million investment in EconoMISER 2 is a testament to our commitment to driving innovation and positions the Institute at the forefront of scaling-up technologies that will accelerate industrial decarbonisation.

“Under my leadership, the Institute remains committed to leading the charge in sustainable development and to forging partnerships that will bring about real and lasting change.”

He joins the Institute having spent more than three decades in the chemical and manufacturing sectors, amassing a wealth of experience in strategic leadership, commercial management and business development.

Most recently, he was Managing Director at Ferro Duo GmbH, a German chemical manufacturing business, and previously held prominent roles at Venator Materials, INEOS, and ICI.

He follows Chris McDonald who stepped down as CEO after being selected as the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for Stockton North and will take over from interim CEO Jonathon Stormon following a short handover period.