UK FIRES: Locating Resource Efficiency at the Heart of Future Industrial Strategy in the UK

Project: Research council

Project Details


Resource Efficiency is essential for reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing. Progress in achieving it has been slow, but a rapidly changing international context, including Brexit, is giving new emphasis to Industrial Strategy in the UK which creates a unique window of opportunity. This transformational Programme aims to locate resource efficiency at the heart of a visionary industrial strategy; it will create new world-leading competitive advantage for UK manufacturing by addressing four fundamental barriers to progress:

- to break out of lock-in to resource inefficiency, novel methods and tools will be developed to enumerate and characterise all today's options to design and manufacture material goods;
- to create clarity about the environmental impact of new manufacturing strategies, a ground-breaking Physical Resources Observatory will be developed to access and interpret more and better global resource data;
- to target manufacturing innovations for Resource Efficiency and accelerate their implementation, the features of an effective Innovation Pipeline will be characterised, tested and deployed with a portfolio of promising emerging manufacturing technologies;
- to give new priority to Resource Efficiency in Industrial Strategy, new metrics and decision-framing will be developed and tested in the Living Lab of the Programme's industrial consortium.

The Programme brings together nine internationally-leading academic groups and a consortium of subscribing industrial partners. The management strategy, designed for flexibility, aims to integrate existing methods from diverse disciplines to address the application of Resource Efficiency while stimulating exploration of new methodological opportunities where existing approaches are inadequate. The value of the investment in the Programme will be maximised through an International Advisory Panel to support connections and awareness, a consortium executive committee to determine priorities for strategic analysis, and a supervisory board to ensure financial and legal compliance. The programme will deliver impact via quarterly strategic analysis reports on resource issues, a programme of policy influence led by an experienced Policy Champion, technological innovations, an annual UK Forum on Resource Efficiency, commercial and open-access software tools, researcher training and multi-channel communications.
Effective start/end date1/04/1931/03/24


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

RCUK Research Areas

  • Design
  • Design Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Enterprise Operations and Management
  • Materials processing
  • Materials Processing
  • Pollution, waste and resources
  • Waste Minimisation


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