The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has been awarded a £2m grant by the Welsh Government to build a sustainable food packaging centre.
Food and Drink Wales believe the sustainability centre will become a hub for the uptake of emerging technologies and materials in the food and drink packaging supply chain. Beyond that, Welsh Government want the AMRC to take a lead on the adoption of waste-reducing eco-innovations in the sector that work towards increased productivity and lower Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs, said: “Our ambition is to raise Wales’ international profile and proactively market our innovation in quality food and drink to the world. I believe the innovations we are exploring at AMRC Cymru can deliver a range of measures to future-proof the industry in Wales.
“We want to see the food, drink and packaging industry reducing its reliance on manual labour and increase skill levels within the sector so we are extremely interested in exploring innovation in processes. This will drive forward the industry into a new era of green growth in the Welsh economy and it is vital the sector responds to these high potential opportunities. This can only be achieved by urgently developing new processes and incorporating the new technologies to tackle single-use plastic and recycling.”
AMRC Cymru’s Operations Director, Jason Murphy, said: “The conversion of our facility to producing medical ventilators since March has unfortunately delayed the completion of the Food and Drink Packaging Sustainability Centre. However, that delay has given us the time to model the demonstrator virtually and consider how we can best set it up so that visiting SMEs can gain the most from it.”
“This will hopefully be one of our key strength areas at AMRC Cymru and nearly all of our engineers here in Broughton will be working on aspects of the demonstrator. Ideally, we would like to be able to invite visitors in to see it sometime in 2021.”