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MSFORCE Forum organised by UKMSN+ Manufacturing Symbiosis Network Plus

On the 22nd of March 2023 the UKSMN+ Manufacturing Symbiosis Network Plus ran a forum to present the main findings of the studies funded by the UKMSN project. The forum took place at Aston Business School, and it had the participation of key stakeholders from the academia, industry, and government. The participants discussed future directions of manufacturing and technology innovations for industrial symbiosis and the circular economy.

Dr Luciano Batista, Director CEAS (Centre for Circular Economy & Advanced Sustainability) and UKMSN+ PI, delivered a talk about the UKMSN+ trajectory and main outcomes. The forum continued with the following presentations delivered by researchers leading the funded studies:

· Paul Timms - Data Innovations for Product Passports: A System of Systems Approach Towards Industry Symbiosis, Loughborough University

· Prof. Alexeis Garcia-Perez & Prof. Sally Dibb - Restorative Business Models for the Automotive Sector and Beyond, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University

· Prof. Federico Rossi & Dr Finian McCann - Sustainable Construction through Robotic Additive Manufacturing, LSBU – London South Bank University

· Dr Begum Tokay - Value-added products from mushroom waste, University of Nottingham

· Dr Mukesh Kumar - Value Exploration of Restorative Agile Biorefining for a Competitive Bioeconomy, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

The academic presentations were followed by an industry panel debate on the theme “Industrial Symbiosis in the CE – What is next to the UK?”. The panel was formed by the following speakers:

· Peter Laybourn, Chairman, International Synergies Ltd

· Lily Tozer, Head of IETF Policy and Industrial Resource Efficiency, BEIS

· Richard Laxton, Group Environment & Sustainability Manager, J G Pears

· Phil Glover BA CQRM, Net Zero Hub Project Lead, HEY LEP

After the panel, the following talks were delivered to highlight major circular economy initiatives being developed in the West Midlands region:

· Circular Economy Routemap - West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Jordan Gerrard, Circular Economy Project Delivery Officer, WMCA

· Biochar Cleantech Accelerator, Tim Miller, Director of Engagement, Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI), Aston University

The forum concluded with a presentation from Mark Tarplee, UKRI/EPSRC Senior Portfolio Manager, when he pointed out priority areas and funding opportunities in the EPSRC Manufacturing and the Circular Economy theme.

The participants had the opportunity to developed further discussions in the networking sessions which took place during the forum.


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