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About UKMSN Network

The manufacturing industry in the UK is facing growing productivity challenges due to supply and price volatility of raw materials. Manufacturing firms are consequently embracing the opportunities of circular economy approaches as a means to save costs, prevent disruptions in materials input and generate additional revenue from waste streams.
The development of circular economy capability and competence requires an industrial symbiosis approach. Industrial symbiosis is a fundamental building block of the circular economy. It provides a means to build industrial competitiveness through the creation of manufacturing ecosystems involving networks of organisations that generate new economic value through the continuous exchange of resources.

The industrial symbiosis capability of the UK manufacturing industry as a whole remains underexploited, with most of the circular economy initiatives being developed in sectoral silos. Such fragmented condition holds the economy back from achieving better sustainability performance overall. To unlock the untapped circular economy potential of the manufacturing industry in the UK, a cross-sectoral industrial symbiosis approach is necessary.



Our Mission

The UKMSN+ mission is to position manufacturing research into the mainstream of scientific developments and impact on the circular economy.

So, How are we going to achieve this? 

The UKMSN+ will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to exploiting enabling mechanisms and tools to facilitate and support the development of industrial symbiosis synergies in the UK manufacturing industry, this way improving the overall circular economy competence and competitiveness of manufacturing businesses across key sectors of the economy.

UKMSN+ aims to actively engage with industry, academia, government and civil representatives. This will be implemented through a series of dissemination and knowledge transfer workshops, as well as through an annual forum where practices, strategies and policies shaping the future of the UK manufacturing symbiosis will be thoroughly discussed and debated.

Key Objectives


To identify and characterise the main sectoral and cross-sectoral challenges and opportunities for manufacturing symbiosis in the UK.



To fund a series of explorative studies that will shape the future and enable widespread adoption of manufacturing symbiosis practices and strategies for the UK circular economy.



To establish knowledge transference mechanisms to promote systemic uptake of industrial symbiosis practices by UK manufacturing firms.



To support policy makers to promote the circular economy competitiveness of the UK manufacturing industry through the development of evidence-based policies that encourage and boost widespread adoption of manufacturing symbiosis practices.


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