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UKRI Centre Circular Metals
Metallic materials are the backbone of manufacturing and the fuel for economic growth. Transformation of the metals industry from the current largely linear economy to a circular economy plays a critical role in delivering the government’s industrial strategy for clean growth, doubling of resource productivity and reaching net zero carbon emissions in 2050. We establish an Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre, CircularMetal, to accelerate this transformation. We have assembled a truly interdisciplinary academic team with a wide range of academic expertise (such as macroeconomics, industrial sustainability, business management, artificial intelligence, product design, metallurgical science and materials engineering) and a strong industrial consortium involving the full range of the metals supply chain. As an integral part of the national circular economy community, our ambition is to make the UK the first country in the world to realise full metal circulation. We will conduct macroeconomic analysis of metal flow to identify circularity gaps and to develop pathways/policies/regulations to bridge them; we will develop circular business models, circular design principles and enabling technologies to underpin this transition; and we will also work closely with the wider academic and industrial communities, policy makers and the general public to deliver the widest possible impact of circular economy. The CircularMetal programme will provide the capability and pathways to eliminate the need for metal extraction, resulting in an estimated £100bn addition to the UK economy over the next 10 years.
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