Current Research Projects


MAESTRI is a four-year project funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme which started on September 2015.The project brings together 15 organisations from 5 different countries to advance the sustainability of European manufacturing, specifically focusing in the process industries. The main objective is to create both concepts and tools to facilitate the adoption of energy and resource efficiency improvement strategies in process production systems of any company (large, medium or small). This is realised through the development of a flexible and scalable management system which will be tested in four real industrial settings across a variety of activity sectors. CIS leads the research on Industrial Symbiosis within the MAESTRI project. The research activities include the analysis of successful industrial cases that will support the development of a library of case studies and will lay the foundation for a toolkit and guidelines supporting the design and implementation of Industrial Symbiosis activities in manufacturing companies.

Contact - Dr Maria Holgado (Lead researcher)



FoodPro is a 2-year research project funded by Food Standards Agency and conducted by the University of Cambridge. It aims to help food businesses improve food allergen management through designing an intelligent food allergen data management software. The software will embed behavioural incentives into food allergen management and provide an incentive-based tool for food businesses to improve food allergen management iteratively by integrating machine learning into human learning.


So far, we have designed a standardised food allergen declaration form (including the common mistakes that may cause undeclared food allergens) and are seeking collaboration with food businesses to test it. If you are interested in our project and would like to learn more about the project, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Lili Jia (Lead researcher).

Contact - Dr Lili Jia (Lead researcher)



This two-year project which commenced in late 2015 is a collaboration between the Centre for Industrial Sustainability (CIS), Croda, the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), and NiTech Solutions. The CIS team will investigate new business models for the adoption of NiTech’s COBR (continuous oscillating baffle reactor) technology, and the shift from batch to continuous manufacturing in the process industry. The project is part funded by Innovate UK and EPSRC in the IUK ‘Flexible Manufacturing’ competition.

Contact - Laure Dodin (Research assistant)


Business Models for Sustainable Industrial Systems

Business Models for Sustainable Industrial Systems is a three-year project funded by the EPSRC. The project is looking to advance the research and practice on business model innovations that support industrial sustainability. The aim of the project is to develop a novel way of helping companies find and visualise opportunities for business model innovations that result in more sustainable businesses.  Agent-based modelling techniques will be applied to unravel complex behavioural characteristics and contexts that have the potential to disrupt the current business model.

Contact - Dr Doroteya Vladimirova (Lead researcher)



SCALER is a thirty-month project funded by the European Commission funded project within the Horizon 2020 programme. It is Coordination and Support Action bringing together 5 organisations and a large network of supporting entities. SCALER aims to massively increase the implementation of industrial symbiosis, by developing mechanisms to retain the embedded value of European resources. It brings together qualitative and quantitative tools and methods to support self-organised initiatives on industrial symbiosis and to enhance facilitation processes and coordination actions. The creation of new spaces for interaction, collaboration and cooperation and the engagement of a broader set of stakeholders are crucial elements of the multiplier effect in industrial symbiosis implementation. CIS is the technical coordinator of SCALER project and will also be leading the activities to create pathways to foster resources synergies in process industries.

Contact - Dr Maria Holgado (Lead Researcher).




The SEEBEYOND project will develop a novel regulatory approach by developing standardised environmental metrics for food and drink sector.


Different food businesses have developed and adopted various environmental metrics and it can be time-consuming for food businesses to collect data from different supplier systems. This project aims to establish rigorous metrics for food businesses to measure and compare their environmental performance. It will make it simpler for the public to understand the environmental performance of companies in key areas such as greenhouse gas reduction and resource efficiency whilst reducing the opportunity for greenwashing.


We will co-design the standardised environmental metrics with the Environment Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Natural Resources Wales, WRAP, British Standards Institution, British Retail Consortium, Food and Drink Federation, Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment, Sainsbury’s, 2 Sisters Food Group, Moy Park, Vitacress, Nestle and Cranswick Foods.

Contact - Dr Lili Jia (Lead Researcher).


Fa.Vela Resiliente

This project in partnership with the NGO FA.VELA in Brazil and funded by a grant from the Newton Fund (British Government) aims to to accelerate sustainable businesses of low-income entrepreneurs dwelling in slums in Belo Horizonte. “FA.VELA empowers the most vulnerable Brazilian slum-dwellers, by promoting inclusive and resilient development. Based on lessons learned from our pilot ‘RESILIENTE’, our goal is to include the youth trapped into poverty into the start-up ecosystem, by targeting up to 100 youth residing in low-income communities under socio-environmental vulnerability in Belo Horizonte. This will be accomplished through a vast array of capacity-building activities (mentoring sessions, workshops, field visits, labs, benchmarking and networking), empowering them to create social and tech-based solutions to pressing challenges to urban resilience. The project will directly benefit approximately 511 people (slum-dwellers, entrepreneurs, university students and professionals cooperating as mentors and facilitators) to mobilize, conceptualise and implement sustainable businesses. We foresee that our project might indirectly impact over 5 million slum-dwellers with the provision of more sustainable products and services.
Contact - Paulo Savaget (Doctoral researcher) 


IUK Crowd-funded Forestry

The forestry industry is a vital part of the Scottish rural economy, contributing almost £1 billion / year and supporting 25,000 FTE jobs. The Scottish Government plans to be creating 15,000 hectares of forest per year by 2024-25. This is an ambitious target, but as the UK is the 3rd largest importer of forestry products after China and Japan, with an import value of nearly £10 billion/ year, this target is vital to strengthening local economies and mitigating climate change. This project aims to design a novel business model that enables small investors to invest in and benefit from forestry, something currently only available to sophisticated or wealthy investors. The project would seek to understand all of the benefits of forestry that these investors would value, especially those that may be difficult to account for in a pure economic model. The project will explore different possible business models that would enable these investors to fully realise the benefits of forestry. Designing a company around these benefits will allow for a more innovative, integrated and robust approach to forestry than currently achieved by institutional investment. The project is led by a start-up company which looks to utilise early stage design processes for the first time supported by the expertise of The Centre for Industrial Sustainability.

Contact - Dr Curie Park (Lead Researcher) 


IUK Aurora

AURORA is a collaborative research group supported by Innovate UK that is investigating the potential to use additive manufacturing technology to remanufacture train wheels for the London Underground. The project has been running for approximately 15 months and has reached a point where additional support is required to assist the AURORA partners to understand the business model implications that might result from the adoption of the technology changes. The Centre proposes to run a series of nine intervention workshops to enable the AURORA parties to understand the value exchanges that are currently and could or are planned to take place in as a result of adoption of the new technology. This will be supported by off line research into similar potential models. The Centre will also carry out deeper analysis of the product and service activities and then work to build a set of value propositions to support the various parties so that they can understand the range of business models that they might consider and work to build suitable business cases to allow for the selection of the most appropriate versions.

Contact - Dr Doroteya Vladimirova (Senior Researcher) 

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