28 Jul 2021
Juergen Maier CBE, former Chief Executive of Siemens UK, has joined Glass Futures as an Advisor to the Board.
Juergen has an incredible history in manufacturing and is currently Chair of the Digital Catapult and Co-Chair of the UK’s Made Smarter programme. He is known for championing manufacturing, improving infrastructure and engineering skills and is enthusiastic about the benefit of Industrial Digitalisation to encourage advanced manufacturing and investment in digital technologies.
He said: “Having been partially instrumental in the creation of Glass Futures a few years ago, I was delighted to be asked to become involved with Glass Futures to encourage their members’ to introduce new digital manufacturing technique, increasing production efficiencies and yields.”
Glass Futures’ Chief Executive, Richard Katz added: “I’m delighted Juergen has agreed to join Glass Futures as an Advisor to the Board. This is a further indication of Glass Futures’ acceptance as a growing major industrial innovator and thought leader, as demonstrated a few months ago with the incredibly successful biofuel trial reducing the carbon footprint of some 3 million beer and spirits bottles by some 90%.
“Juergen joining us also provides a tremendous opportunity for Glass Futures’ members to benefit from his vast experience on the delivery of innovation and technology across the glass and other foundation industries.”
Granted planning permission in May this year, the 160,000 sq. ft Glass Futures Centre of Excellence will be the world’s first openly accessible, multi-disciplinary experimental glass melting facility for research and development trials. The facility will be used to deliver industry and government backed R&D projects aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of glass production and will provide a platform for industry to test and trial their own ideas, both collaboratively and individually.
The facility is being funded through a mix of public and private investment. A £15m UKRI grant has been secured for the installation of a globally unique, experimental furnace and state of the art infrastructure capable of producing 30 tonnes of glass per day and will enable the Glass Industry to implement change in a safe experimental space. Landowner and developer, Network Space, is securing private sector investment to support the construction costs alongside a £9m grant from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Glass sector companies will also contribute a further £20m in resource, time and equipment to support the project.
In addition to creating 80 new permanent jobs, the project will lead to much-needed apprenticeships, training and general up-skilling within the glass sector and attract further inward investment to the Region as leading international glass companies focus resources to be within geographical reach of the facility.