From left to right: Caroline Moore (Marketing Executive) & Aston Fuller (General Manager at Glass Futures), Juergen Maier CBE, the Mayor of St Helens Cllr Lynn Clarke, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham, Richard Katz (CEO of Glass Futures), Alanna Halsall (Communications, Digital and Marketing Manager at Glass Futures), Mike Biddle (Innovate UK), Dr Nick Kirk (Glass Technology Services) & Brian McMillan (Director at Glass Futures)

Glass Futures officially opened its £54m Global Centre of Excellence in St Helens, UK yesterday (6th June 2023).

The innovative research and technology centre will help the global glass industry to create greener, cleaner products.

The centre will soon be home to a 30 tpd experimental furnace and other technology that will pioneer ways of making carbon neutral glass.

The furnace will be installed ahead of its first firing planned for early 2024.

Speaking at the opening event yesterday, Richard Katz, CEO of Glass Futures said: “I don’t let go in a hurry and a decade after the idea of Glass Futures was first conceived that dream has come to fruition.

“Removing carbon emissions from global manufacturing is our world’s greatest challenge, and we need to change how we do things.

“The glass industry and the wider foundation industries (ceramics, steel, metal, chemicals, paper, and cement) need to decarbonise, to use energy sustainably and move away from natural gas as their main energy source.

“That’s why we exist and it’s thanks to the ongoing support of our founders, members, funders and supporters that we’re standing here today – but this really is just the start.”

The event, attended by over 100 guests, brought together Glass Futures members from around the world including glass manufacturers and university academics with funders and local politicians.

Aston Fuller, Glass Futures General Manager, said: “It’s been great to see so many of our members and supporters and show them the new centre, especially as many of them have been with us on the journey.

“This opening marks a new chapter for Glass Futures with St Helens as our home. A key part of that for us is working with as many local partners as possible, supporting local businesses, creating jobs, and attracting new companies and start-ups to come and join us in the borough.”