Swansea University in collaboration with the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick, has announced the launch of a research network initiative. Imbibed with a funding of GBP 35 million, the network is also inclusive of more than twenty partners, viz., companies, academic experts, research organizations, and trade bodies spanning the UK steel industry.

Through the research network initiative, university experts and steelmakers plan to work in tandem on a seven-year research program that aims at transforming the UK steel sector and making it a smart, green and clean steel industry.

Called SUSTAIN, the initiative is presently led by Swansea University and boasts of having received an investment of GBP 10 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council that is slated to be one of the network’s Future Manufacturing Research Hubs.

As per sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, the announcement about the network is a major landmark, given that this is the first time when UK steel manufacturers and other manufacturing sector representatives have geared up for a coordinated research program. Credible reports also cite that this is the largest-ever single investment made by a UK-based research council in steel research.

It is being speculated that SUSTAIN will be the base that would give birth to a much broader spectrum of research and innovation, that would bank on the expertise spanning the UK academia and beyond. Trusted sources with the knowledge of the development state that SUSTAIN essentially aims to transform the entire steel supply chain, not only by making it greener, cleaner, and smarter, but also by making it highly responsive to the ever-changing consumer demands.

As per reports, SUSTAIN’s work will focus on two pivotal arenas – zero waste iron and steelmaking, armed with the intent to make the industry carbon-neutral by the year 2040, and smart steel processing, that would entail SUSTAIN to develop new ways of acquiring and using massive amounts of steelmaking data in new metallurgical processes for delivering high tech products.