David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science has opened a new Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at The University of Nottingham.
The aim of the Institute, which has received £2 million from the University’s Capital Investment Fund, is to centralise activity and drive the development of cutting-edge technology in one of the University’s key research areas. It encompasses an international team of established academics in their respective fields in the UK and also at its campuses in Malaysia and China.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has provided £550k for the Institute to invest in specialist equipment. In addition, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is providing a further £979k to support business engagement and knowledge transfer activities with local SMEs with the aim of supporting innovation and growth within the region.
The University of Nottingham’s research portfolio presents a unique, integrated and holistic approach to manufacturing, focusing on themes including process technologies, composite manufacturing, food and additive manufacturing, digital manufacturing and operations management.
Partnering with the world's leading manufacturers
The Institute has partners in sectors as diverse as aerospace, automotive, medical, instrumentation, defence, power engineering, textiles and clothing. Major global stakeholders include Airbus, Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems, all with strategic and operational links to the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry.
The University was one of the founding partners of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, which subsequently partnered with six other institutions of excellence to form the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. This Catapult is one of a network of elite technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board. It focuses its research and development on key areas of high value manufacturing, including use of metals and composites in addition to process manufacturing technologies and bio-processing.
Testing and demonstrating manufacturing concepts
The Manufacturing Technology Centre provides new opportunities for manufacturing knowledge and technology transfer, allowing accelerated testing, demonstration and industrialisation of manufacturing concepts, technologies and processes developed at Nottingham.
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science said: “As set out in the Government’s industrial strategy, it is vital that business benefits from the very best and latest technologies in order to compete in the global marketplace and be a driving force for growth. “That’s why I am very pleased to be opening the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at the University of Nottingham today, which has benefitted from significant Government funding.
“It will complement our £140 million investment in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult centre, which also brings business and the research base together to commercialise new technologies.”
One of the industrial representatives at the launch of the Institute was Cliff Robson, Industrial Capability Director at BAE Systems, who talked to guests about the importance of advanced manufacturing to the future competitiveness of the aerospace industry and the need for businesses and universities to collaborate to build expertise in this area.
His comments were also echoed by Professor Svetan Ratchev, Director of the Institute, who said: “We are looking forward to working with our industrial partners to establish a real centre of excellence for advanced manufacturing here in Nottingham. The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing will drive the development of cutting-edge technologies in one of the University’s key research areas, with the aim of radically improving all aspects of advanced manufacturing.”
Next generation, knowledge driven manufacturing
The expertise at the Institute will focus on next generation knowledge-driven manufacturing methods, technologies, systems and services, and will be able to support large numbers of regional companies across the supply chain.
Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, added: “We are lucky to have such reserves of expertise in the area of manufacturing research here at the University. The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing will enable us to further build our capacity in this area, benefitting manufacturing businesses based locally, nationally and internationally.
“The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing is focusing on next generation knowledge driven manufacturing methods, technologies, systems and services and will support numerous regional companies of all sizes. I would encourage any manufacturing businesses that feel they could benefit from the Institute to get in contact with us.”
Professor David Delpy, Chief Executive of the EPSRC, which has provided funding for the Institute, said: “The new Institute for Advanced Manufacturing will build on our earlier investments in the University of Nottingham, which includes £16 million support for the Nottingham Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre. It will also be one of our strategic training centres for the next generation of engineers through the EPSRC funded manufacturing EngD programme.”
For more information about The University of Nottingham’s services for business, visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/servicesforbusines