Rolls-Royce and ICI Paints take sustainable strides in R&D

Brand leaders such as Rolls-Royce and ICI Paints are strengthening their sustainability credentials by taking part in a government funded research and development scheme.

Seventy companies, universities and research organisations will share £7m of funding in order to undertake 17 projects that aim to develop sustainable manufacturing for the process industry.

The grant aims to improve sustainability in a range of sectors including food and drink, chemicals, construction and aerospace.

The total value of the projects, which includes contributions from the participating companies, will be in the excess of £14m.

Rolls-Royce will research and develop a more sustainable process for electropolishing aerospace castings using ionic liquids. Conventional methods involve the use of toxic inorganic acids; whereas, ionic liquids are greener and operate with higher energy efficiency.

ICI paints will collaborate with other groups in an attempt to eliminate solvents in paint. Meanwhile, C-tech Innovation and its partners seek to develop a baking process that could reduce the overall energy consumption of the sector by 20%.

The projects will be funded by The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Technology Strategy Board chief executive Iain Gray said: “This research and development will lead to innovations in manufacturing that will improve economic performance, benefit the environment and have a positive social impact.”

Conor McGlone

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