Tuesday, October 1, 2013

News: AMRC receive £1m grant to help forge new partnerships

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The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing in Rotherham is coordinating a new visiting fellowship scheme to strengthen relations between academics and manufacturers, and accelerate the transition of research from the laboratory to industry.

Launched recently at the second annual Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Manufacturing the Future conference at Cranfield University, the scheme aims to increase academic involvement in the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult and accelerate the impact of EPSRC-funded research.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and a partner in the HVM Catapult (the government's strategic initiative that aims to revitalise the manufacturing industry), the AMRC focuses on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. It is a partnership between industry and academia, which has become a model for research centres worldwide.

An initial £1m grant has been awarded to the University of Sheffield to coordinate the scheme through AMRC. The Fellowships will enable academic staff to spend six month research visits in one or more of the HVM Catapult centres (which includes the AMRC and Nuclear AMRC in Rotherham), these can be spread flexibly between one to four years. The projects must be aligned to work previously funded by EPSRC.

Professor Richard Jones, pro-vice-chancellor for research and innovation at the University of Sheffield, said: "The University of Sheffield AMRC with Boeing is a world-class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high value manufacturing sectors. We're delighted to be working with EPSRC and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to shorten the time taken for great new British academic research to be translated into new products and processes."

Dick Elsy, chief executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, added: "We have some of the best technology research in the world, here in the UK, and the job of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is to help to bring that to commercial fruition. This fellowship programme extends the links of the HVM Catapult with a much greater pool of research capability to deliver more of this technology to market. This is absolutely the right thing to be doing to support innovation in the UK."

HVM Catapult projects include supporting Rolls-Royce to develop and optimise enabling technologies in support of its new Advanced Blade Casting Facility (ABCF) in Rotherham and the AMRC working with Tata Steel to identify areas where automation can be introduced to reduce manual intervention at Stocksbridge.

AMRC website

Images: HVM Catapult

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