Sheffield sensor firm wins grant to help cut coronavirus plastic harm

A Sheffield company has won a £50,000 grant to create hi-tech sensors to reduce the environmental impact of plastic packaging – which has mushroomed under lockdown.

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 1:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th June 2020, 11:17 am

Tribosonics aims to use its technology to measure wear and tear on plastic-making equipment, to help make it more efficient, and improve productivity and monitoring in plastics factories.

Production of plastic packaging has boomed during lockdown due to a sharp rise in home deliveries - but at a cost to sustainability and the environment.

The grant is from Innovate UK - part of the government - as part of a £40m fund to drive tech advances in response to the pandemic.

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Tribosonics apprentice Ben Wright. Picture: Chris Etchells

Dr Phil Harper, Tribosonics founder and CTO, said: “It will enable our technology to make a real difference in the plastics industry. Driving improved efficiency, process optimisation and increased resilience in the face of challenges such as the pandemic.”

More than 8,600 companies applied to the fund in April and 800 were successful.

Innovate UK executive chair Dr Ian Campbell, said: “The COVID-19 situation affects not only the nation’s health but also the economy and society. Businesses from all over the UK answered our call rapidly to meet the challenges we face today and in the future through the power of innovation.

“The ideas we have seen can truly make a significant impact on society, improve the lives of individuals, especially those in vulnerable groups and enable innovative businesses to prosper in challenging circumstances.”

Young rising stars at hi-tech manufacturing firm Tribosonics in Sheffield. Pictured is apprentice Luke Dawson. Picture: Chris Etchells

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Pictured is apprentice Reece Turner. Picture: Chris Etchells