South Korean electronics giant investing in Glass Futures project

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch, Richard Katz, Bang Moon Kyu, South Korean Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy

A South Korean multinational electronics company is backing the St Helens-based Glass Futures project with new investment.

LG Electronics announced its support as part of the UK-Korea Business Forum at Mansion House, London, this week, which saw Korean businesses back Britain with £21bn of investment.

Youngseok Kim, business leader of advanced materials at LG Electronics, said: “Glass is everywhere in our lives, and we believe it is our duty to collaborate and find innovative solutions to manufacture glass in the most sustainable way.

“LG Electronics is interested in exploring advanced technologies for glass production such as electric or hydrogen powered furnaces, as well as increasing the proportion of recycled content to make new products.”

Earlier this year a trade mission took place to the Republic of Korea with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. As part of the UK-Republic of Korea Innovation Twins Programme, The British Embassy introduced Glass Futures to LG Electronics, the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer electronics and home goods, as one of many partnerships supported by the combined authority.

After technical discussions, LG Electronics became members of the not-for-profit research and technology organisation to benefit from its world leading technical expertise.

Glass Futures’ £54m Government-funded Global Centre of Excellence in St Helens will allow industry to trial and demonstrate disruptive technologies and generate ideas that will support the glass and foundation industries to decarbonise and become more sustainable, faster.

Youngseok Kim added: “We’re excited to work with Glass Futures and its growing membership of global glass manufacturers to drive positive change and create opportunities to exchange knowledge on the latest technologies so we can grow together.”

Richard Katz, Glass Futures chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to welcome LG Electronics to Glass Futures’ membership alongside many world leading corporations, particularly at the time of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s State Visit to the UK to celebrate our two nations building on our complementary strengths in innovation toward net zero.”

LG Electronics introduced glass powder into its ovens in 2013 to make them easier to clean. The enamel coating technology, known as ‘EasyClean’, was developed by LG Electronics’ in-house R&D team and was the starting point of its relationship with glass.

Since 2022, antibacterial glass powder has been used on refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners. LG Electronics is looking to expand this technology by working in collaboration with Glass Futures.