Glass Futures’ Global Centre of Excellence, the proposed research and development and training facility, continues to deliver on employment commitments having successfully recruited a key Business Development position.

Naomi Smith has been appointed as the new Business Development role responsible for driving membership of Glass Futures and the Global Centre of Excellence.

This new role will provide a key point of contact between the innovations team and members, and will help define and drive strategic activities to grow the membership base and ensure the needs of current members are fulfilled.

Naomi started her working career as a sales representative with Ovako, selling steel into the UK market, working in collaboration with the design, engineering and manufacturing teams to produce parts and equipment serving multiple industries.

She has also worked within the Testing Inspection and Certification (TIC) sector with Element Materials Technology, where she ran marketing campaigns and strategies to bring new products and services to market.

The not-for-profit research and technology organisation (RTO) has appointed 17 members of staff and secondees in key managerial roles in a phased ramping up of appointments including recent positions in engineering, communications and marketing.

The most recent recruits are all working remotely but there is hope that a temporary Head Office can be established in St Helens’ in the near future*, acting as the operational HQ to spearhead the planned 165,000 sq. ft facility on the 14-acre site, adjacent to St Helens’ Rugby League ‘Totally Wicked’ stadium.

The facility will be centered around a 30 tonne/day low carbon demonstration furnace creating the world’s first openly accessible, multi-disciplinary glass melting facility with capacity for research and development trials to demonstrate new manufacturing processes, products and approaches to improve efficiencies whilst decarbonising the glass industry and providing a world class training facility for the current and future workforce.

In total, the St Helens’ site is expected to create around 80 skilled jobs directly, along with hundreds of indirect employment opportunities.

It’s great to see the Glass Futures team grow as we deliver on our promises and continue to fill positions in the early months of 2021 and beyond, with further plans to hire 10 roles throughout the course of the year.

Glass Futures will be a 24/7 operation and we will need skilled engineers from all disciplines, along with a diverse range of skilled people to make up the operational support team. With collaboration also being a key part of the Glass Futures’ offering, we want to ensure we can deliver knowledge and resources for R&D projects to introduce scalable solutions for the benefit of, not only our members, but the whole glass industry.

Said Aston Fuller, Glass Futures General Manager

I look forward to developing strong relationships with existing and future members of Glass Futures to ensure we understand their research and development requirements.

One of Glass Futures’ core values is collaboration. I am thrilled to deliver world-class customer service, act as the thread that ties it all together and drive a research revolution across the whole of the glass industry.

Said Naomi Smith, recently appointed Business Development Manager at Glass Futures

As the multi-agency work continues to bring the Glass Futures’ site forward, the recruitment process for current and future roles is moving ahead and prospective candidates can register their interest, confidentially, by visiting