University welcomes SPECIFIC funding announcement

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Swansea University is welcoming news that a Swansea University project which is making a major contribution to global renewable energy technology is to receive a funding boost.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced that the Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings (SPECIFIC) project will receive £1.65 million in collaborative research funding.

SPECIFIC, an academic and industrial consortium led by Swansea University with Tata Steel as the main industrial partner, is funded by EPSRC, the Technology Strategy Board and the Welsh Government.

The project’s main aim is to develop functional coated steel and glass products, for roofs and walls that generate, store and release renewable energy - transforming buildings into power stations and delivering significant environmental and economic benefits. In its’ first two years SPECIFIC has developed a full pilot manufacturing facility to enable the manufacture of one square metre panels of functional coated materials such as glass, steel, aluminium, plasterboard or wood, which can be applied to buildings at demonstration scale.

The EPSRC funding will be used by SPECIFIC to:

  • expand its solar energy research - working with the universities of Bath and Oxford
  • commercialise solar water purification technology with Surrey University
  • work with the University of Manchester on bio-inspired coatings
  • commercialise a heated floor tile

Professor Richard B. Davies, Vice Chancellor of Swansea University said: “This funding announcement is very welcome and will help the SPECIFC project to expand its successful collaboration between government, academia and industry. 

“I am very proud that Swansea University is leading this project which has the potential to create a range of renewable energy applications that will be available commercially within a few years. This will revolutionise building construction and make a major contribution to renewable energy targets globally.”