Future Leaders Group

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic group of people in their early careers to provide guidance and to help shape a £150m Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund dedicated to Transforming the Foundation Industries. The Future Leaders Group will provide the Challenge Team with a diverse range of current perspectives to enrich our collective thinking.

The group will consist of approximately 10-15 Early Career Professionals (up to 10 years from finishing last studies) who work in one of the Foundation Industries from Academia or Industry. We are looking for independent thinkers, confident in challenging our activities and investing in our journey in transforming these industries. We are looking to bring together a diversity in the types of future leadership styles and are actively seeking a mix of genders, ethnicities, and social backgrounds.

We need help in shaping sector support for the Foundation Industries, for example identifying future skills gaps and suitable initiatives, scoping future competitions to fully meet sector needs, identifying current state of the art research and technologies and engaging the community.
The minimum commitment for membership of this group is attendance at the online quarterly meetings but is also likely to include preparation time and development of additional papers in conjunction with the Challenge Team and your Peers. During this time, your industry knowledge, perspective and contributions will be vital in enabling us to support the Foundation Industries in the most effective manner. Beyond this, we are looking for you to be an advocate for the Challenge and help advertise opportunities within your organisation and networks. In the first instance, Group Members will serve for a maximum of two years, after which the membership of the group will be reviewed on an annual basis.

In return for raising the profile of important cross-sector collaborations, this work will help you to raise your profile within the Foundation Industries, which will help boost your career. You will also have the opportunity to receive mentorship from a member of the Challenge Advisory Group to aid your development, exposure to key members of the wider Industry and Government and become part of a Peer Group of future Foundation Industry Leaders.

If this opportunity is of interest to you, please fill in this nomination survey to explain your experience and what you would bring to the group. Please contact Sarah Connolly ( should you have any questions.

About the Challenge
As part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and their commitment to clean growth and net zero carbon by 2050, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has now committed £66m to fund the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge. The Challenge brings together the Metals, Glass, Paper, Ceramics, Cement, and Bulk Chemicals Industries.

The TFI Challenge will run between 2020 and 2024 and aims to address the two major challenges facing the Foundation Industries: remaining competitive and reducing environmental impact. These challenges are related, as reducing environmental impact through resource or energy efficiency will lead to cost reductions and improvements in competitiveness. The Challenge covers all forms of innovation from TRL 3-7 including work with Academia, Industry and Pilot Scale Research.
Alongside funded competitions, the Challenge is supporting the development of the Foundation Industries Sector, addressing innovation barriers, formation of networks, future skills needs and other areas where support is required.