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Significant funding granted for new research project to increase the sustainability of steel production

11 November 2022

Delegates at the first ALCHIMIA meeting

A new research project has been given a 3.5 million euro go-ahead to find ways to make the production of steel more sustainable.

Using federated learning and artificial intelligence (AI), the project titled Data and decentralized Artificial intelligence for a competitive and green European metallurgy industry (ALCHIMIA), involves Dr Dean Stroud and Dr Martin Weinel of the School of Social Sciences.

The project posits that improved efficiency through optimising the mix of scrap metal will reduce energy consumption, emissions and waste while improving steel quality.

Research organisations, manufacturing companies, an information technology consultant and a software company are joining forces to find ways to improve the steel production industry.

Ten partners across Europe, from countries including Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Greece, are involved in the project.

Dr Stroud said, “The ALCHIMIA project aims to develop AI solutions to tackle energy consumption, waste and emissions in steel production, and to build replicability and scalability of the ALCHIMIA solution across the European metallurgy industry.

“At the same time, it considers the social and human aspects of inserting new digital technologies in the workplace.

The improvement of efficiency across European industry is crucial for its competitiveness and sustainability, with the project promising to develop technical but socially responsible solutions for improvements in this direction.
Dr Dean Stroud Reader

A group of people on high vis clothing at a scrap repository.
The consortium on a visit to a scrap repository at the Celsa plant, near Barcelona, where the first meeting took place.

The project is funded by the European Commission (EC) as part of Horizon Europe, a European Union (EU) programme tackling climate change.

Dr Stroud and Dr Weinel have had a long working relationship with the EC from networking across previous projects in Europe.

The team hopes to achieve a more sustainable metallurgy industry and contribute to the EU’s Green Deal and push for a more efficient industry.

The project will run from September 2022 to August 2025.

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