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CMA Founder Jeff Townsend joins MPIUK PRISM Advisory Board

Jeff Townsend, co-founder of the Critical Minerals Association, has joined the Materials Processing Institute as the latest member of its PRISM Advisory Board.

PRISM is a five-year research and innovation programme, led by the Institute to revolutionise the steel and metals sector.

Funded through Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, it supports Government aims to achieve net zero by 2050, improve business productivity and competitiveness while levelling up the UK regions.

The programme focuses on projects and investment that support the transition to a low carbon economy by supporting innovation in decarbonisation, digital technologies, and the circular economy.

A national centre for research and innovation, the Institute is currently involved in developing hydrogen-based technologies capable of scaling up production of green steel as part of the PRISM programme – with the potential to decarbonise the entire UK steel industry.

It is also using its Normanton steel plant in a pilot project to explore how digital technologies – capable of improving all aspects of the manufacturing process – can be applied to a full-scale production plant.

The PRISM Advisory Board includes representatives from the steel and metals industry, metals sector trade associations, research and technology organisations, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

It supports the PRISM programme through an innovation and technology roadmap, monitoring budgets, projects, organisation participation, and the achievement of objectives. The board also promotes the commercialisation of programme outputs and the activities with industry, government and the wider community.

Joe Lee, PRISM Project Manager at the Teesside-based Institute, said: "It is fantastic that Jeff has agreed to join the PRISM Industrial Advisory Board to represent the Critical Minerals Association. I am sure with his input we can develop the core research programme and engage with a wider range of businesses in this area, maximising the impact of the programme."

Jeff Townsend added: “If we are to build a better, greener world we need to do so through industry finding efficiencies in their production techniques, their use of power or even just thinking about going about business in a different way.

“When I saw the work that PRISM is doing to help facilitate these necessary changes I was massively impressed. It is an honour to be asked to join the advisory board and I look forward to contributing in my small way to the excellent work of PRISM.”

Founded in January 2020, the Critical Minerals Association is dedicated to highlighting the need for the UK to secure supply chains by identifying new sources of critical minerals, investing in extraction technologies, and increasing Government support for recycling initiatives.

Materials Processing Institute

The Materials Processing Institute is a research and innovation centre serving global steel and materials organisations that work in advanced materials, industrial decarbonisation, the circular economy, and digital technologies.

The Institute has served as the UK’s national steel innovation centre since 1944 having been set up by Sir Winston Churchill’s wartime government just before D-Day to equip the British steel industry for post-war reconstruction. It will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2024.

Through collaboration with its customers, the Institute provides a range of technology and R&D based services and consultancy. It also has pilot and demonstration facilities and an SME Technology Centre to support supply chain businesses with the development of new technologies and products.

Works with: steel, metals and alloys, chemical processes, aerospace and defence, energy, mining and quarrying, construction, rail, transport, and infrastructure, offshore, subsea, and nuclear.

The Materials Processing Institute includes developments funded through Tees Valley Combined Authority, through the Local Growth Fund (Growth Deal).

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