FLIGHT simulator technology is being applied to the precast concrete manufacturing industry to increase efficiency, reduce waste and encourage recycling.

The two-year Enterprise Simulation for Precast Concrete Operations project will improve the production process of pre-cast concrete by simulation in "virtual" environments.

The move, led by the Centre for Construction Innovation and Research, at the University of Teesside, and Nottingham Centre for Infrastructure, at the University of Nottingham, involves partners at British Precast Federation, Tarmac, Aggregate Industries, Buckan and a number of precast companies.

The project was launched in September, helped by a £450,000 grant from the Department of Trade and Industry through its Technology Programme, Succeeding though Innovation Initiative.

Teesside's Professor Nashwan Dawood said: "The prestigious grant acknowledges our innovation in the use of simulation in virtual environments and the application of this technology to the precast industry.

"We will be using technology similar to that used in flight simulators to see if we can improve the production process for precast concrete.

"Any improvements in the production of precast components will lead to economic, social and environmental benefits for the whole construction industry in this country."