Strathclyde attracts major investments in manufacturing research

Strathclyde attracts major investments in manufacturing research
The University is to play a key role in two multi-million pound government initiatives to stimulate high value manufacturing research in the UK.

Investment in manufacturing capacity is one of the priority areas for the Government's strategy to stimulate growth and regenerate the economy. The investments are designed to give the UK competitive advantage in high value manufacturing in sectors including aerospace, energy, marine, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, chemistry and food.

In the area of high value manufacturing, Strathclyde's Advanced Forming Research Centre is to be a major partner in the first of a UK-wide network of elite technology centres unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

The National Technology and Innovation Centre for High Value Manufacturing will allow business and industry to commercialise the results of world class research, and provide routes to new high tech markets. It is the first of a network of centres being supported by more than £200 million of Government funding over the next four years.

In addition, the University is leading the new £5 million EPSRC Centre for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation, within a consortium of universities and industry partners- one of nine Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Centres for Innovative Manufacturing which have secured a total of £51 million funding.

This new centre, announced today by UK Universities and Science Minister David Willetts, will enable researchers to dramatically improve and accelerate the manufacture of medicines, foodstuffs and chemical products.

University of Strathclyde Principal, Professor Jim McDonald, said: "Strathclyde plays a significant role in these two announcements because of our research capabilities and track record of working in partnership with business and industry. Together, we are finding solutions to industry problems, and mobilising research and new technologies to support the high value manufacturing sector.

"This sector is crucial to the development of a strong and sustainable economy in the UK, and from Scotland's perspective, our work in this area will ensure we will play a full part in economic regeneration, and our people will benefit from it too.

"The UK has a proud tradition of manufacturing. It is important that this investment builds upon the city of Glasgow's proud heritage in engineering excellence, design and manufacturing. These investments will enhance our global reputation for innovation and high quality research."

The news comes just days after the University unveiled plans for the Technology and Innovation Centre at Strathclyde (TIC) - a world-leading research hub for academics and industry in the centre of Glasgow.

The TIC, and the new national manufacturing centres, will work in parallel forging greater collaboration between academic researchers and industry.

Announcing the high value manufacturing centre, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, said: "This first elite technology and innovation centre will support our objective to rebalance the economy by underpinning current UK manufacturing strengths through the development and deployment of novel technologies into sectors such as aerospace, automotive and process industries, whilst at the same time driving the UK into leading positions in new high growth markets by creating a platform for innovative SMEs to work with larger companies in developing technologies such as plastic electronics, fibre reinforced polymer composites and biotechnology."

David Willetts, Universities and Science Minister, added: "Partnerships between higher education and industry are increasingly essential drivers of innovation, opportunity and national prosperity. These new centres will combine inventive research and business acumen to develop the high-tech manufacturing industries we need to secure sustainable growth."