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Rio Tinto will commit $150 million in order to create the Centre for Future Materials in London.

Lead by Imperial College London, the centre aims to find ways to provide the critical minerals the world needs for the energy transition.

The partnership will see Rio and Imperial define a number of global challenges to address which will underpin the first research programmes at the centre.

The centre is set to be established in the second half of 2023, and the first research programmes will funded in 2024.

“For the world to reach net zero, we must find better ways to provide the materials it needs,” Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm said.

“No single player can do this alone, and research and development plays a vital role. Imperial College London is one of the world’s leading institutions focused on science and engineering – I cannot wait to see the progress we make, as we bring together the best of industry and academia, with shared ambition.”

Imperial vice provost (research and enterprise) professor Mary Ryan said the centre will help to create sustainable energy practices.

“Moving to a truly sustainable society requires a holistic approach to these complex industrial processes. This is inherent to Imperial’s approach,” Ryan said.

“We will tackle these challenges and design future innovations that are resource and energy efficient, nature positive, human-centric and just.

“By working hand-in-hand with other leading international institutions, we will create a truly multidisciplinary, global effort to drive the next industrial revolution in harmony with nature.”

Rio will commit $150 million in funding over 10 years.