17 March 2023 | Muriel Cozier

SCI's Daily Digest: your one-stop shop for all of the day's news in science based industry

In today's Daily Digest, news on funding for science, technology, and sustainable industries, proposals for critical raw material supply and the European Hydrogen Bank, and advancements in refinery expansion and plastic recycling, as well as ongoing developments in avian flu and clean hydrogen technologies.


Following the Spring Budget, the UK government is providing £3.5 billion in funding to support its ambition to make the UK a ‘science superpower’. It will also accept the recommendations from a review carried out by Sir Patrick Vallance for ‘smarter regulation’.

The Commons Science and Technology Committee has launched a new inquiry on turning breakthrough in quantum technology into commercial products of benefit to the UK society and economy. Submissions are welcomed until the 28 April.

The BBSRC has awarded £5.3 million in funding to 18 projects focused on making the textile industry more sustainable or supporting the recycling and reuse of valuable industrial metals.


The European Commission has launched the Net-Zero Industry Act, which is aimed at ensuring the EU is well positioned to create better conditions for attracting investment in net-zero businesses and projects. The Act is part of the EU’s Green Deal Industrial Plan.

The European Commission has proposed a set of plans to ensure the EU has access to a supply of critical raw materials.

To support the uptake of renewable hydrogen in the EU, the Commission has set out ideas on the design and function of the European Hydrogen Bank. The Commission said it sends a clear signal that Europe is the place for hydrogen production.


ExxonMobil has brought new capacity online at its Beaumont Refinery located along the US Gulf Coast. Said to be the largest refinery expansion in the US since 2012, the $2 billion investment increases capacity for transportation fuel by 250,000 barrels per day.

TotalEnergies has partnered to develop the first value chain in France for the recycling of plastic film.

The G7 Science and Technology Ministers Meeting will take place 12–14 May in Sendai City, Japan.


The ECHA has identified a number of brominated flame retardants as candidates for EU-wide restriction.

A new report indicates that the situation regarding avian flu continues to evolve with new outbreaks being reported and occasional infections in mammals, and sporadic human infections in countries outside the EU. It adds that there is a low risk to the public.


The US government is providing £750 million in funding to advance clean hydrogen technologies.

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