IOM3 Publishes Priorities for the next UK Government

The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) has set out five priorities for the next government which are aimed at securing a strategic approach to materials, minerals and mining.

  1. Establish and implement a UK Materials Strategy: a comprehensive, cross-government, society and to deliver net-zero a comprehensive, cross-government, cross-economy strategic approach to sustainable use and management of materials covering the full life cycle to ensure supply chain resilience, secure access to the materials and minerals required for modern society and to deliver net-zero.
  2. Advance the transition to a resource efficient and resilient society: embedding resource efficiency and productivity across government policy, driving the transition to a more circular economy where materials are kept in circulation at their highest value for as long as possible, building resource and energy security and reducing environmental impacts.
  3. Bolster the UK’s approach to critical materials: developing a better understanding of critical material flows and building responsible supply chains through domestic capability and collaboration with international partners driving resilience vital for UK industry, energy and national security and delivering the low carbon transition.
  4. Support energy intensive industries to decarbonise: advancing the low-carbon and resource efficient transition and ensuring a competitive and viable future for manufacturing industries in the UK.
  5. Deliver a plan for skills and workforce development: across materials, minerals and mining including updating perceptions and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion to address the current and future gaps and minimise the risks posed to the UK economy.

Commenting on the Policy Briefing, Royce CEO Professor David Knowles said:

“The Henry Royce Institute together with IOM3, the recently formed Materials Innovation Leadership Group and our many partners in the materials community continue to work in chorus to promote the central role of materials in the UK economy and position it as a sector in its own right.

“This IOM3 policy brief effectively points out the key innovation strengths of materials, as well as providing a set of priorities that set out the risks we face if we don’t fully leverage our strengths in materials.  It highlights that materials underpin the economy, our every-day lives and the low-carbon transition.

“The focus on the need to support our energy intensive industries to decarbonise is very welcome.  The Foundation industries Sustainability Consortium (FISC) in which Royce is a partner brings together global leaders in innovation from across the cement, metal, glass, ceramic, paper, polymer and chemical industries and is delivering projects aimed at just this –  developing effective decarbonisation solutions to the problems these sectors face.”

Royce is now facilitating a cross-sectoral National Materials Innovation Strategy, under the direction of the Materials Innovation Leadership Group and through consultation with the UK Materials Community.

The Interim Report published in April provided a comprehensive and updated Econometrics Report which includes the following data points:

  • Over 2,500 companies in the UK are active in materials innovation.
  • They contribute just under £45 billion to the UK economy (with a turnover of just under £1 trillion globally).
  • 70% of those companies identified have Registered Offices outside of London and the Southeast.
  • Combined, these companies employ more than 635,000 people in the UK.
  • Approximately three-quarters of the companies identified are micro or small-sized companies; 16% are medium-sized companies and 10% are large companies.
  • 50% of companies identified are in manufacturing, and 40% are in R&D.

Thirty Opportunity Workstreams were identified as part of this work and these are now convening experts to undertake a deeper exploration of materials innovation in each priority area. Sub-strategies will be developed against these opportunities and will be combined to form the Ten Year National Materials Innovation Strategy towards the end of this year. Early findings will be published in the Autumn.