Glass Futures’ Global Centre of Excellence, the proposed research and development and training facility, has appointed Naomi Smith to the new role of business development manager.

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

Her 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 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 most recent recruits to the facility are all working remotely but the aim is for a temporary Head Office to 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 stadium.

The facility will be centred around a 30 tonne/day low carbon demonstration furnace creating the world’s first openly accessible, multi-disciplinary glass melting facility with capability 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.