Thursday, October 3, 2013

News: High praise for The AMRC

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The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing in Rotherham has received visits from the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and the commercial secretary to the Treasury and minister in charge of infrastructure delivery, Lord Deighton.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, 250 technical apprentices work alongside 70 companies and 180 University staff to translate research into new designs and manufacturing processes.

The multimillion pound partnership between industry and academia has become a model for collaborative research centres worldwide. It attracts paid industry members at different tiers, keen to make use of the world-class machines and facilities, and has had major success in securing research grants and European and government funding.

Data compiled by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) showed that for 2011/12 the University of Sheffield's engineering research income of £46m surpassed that of Cambridge by almost 10 percent.

The latest project to attract funding is the AMRC "Factory 2050" that will be the UK's first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research, capable of rapidly switching production between different high-value components and one-off parts.

Integrating research and industry collaboration, the government confirmed £10m funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) earlier this year with the remainder of the £43m total cost coming from industry.

Lord Deighton, commercial secretary to the Treasury, said: "As I've seen in South Yorkshire, good infrastructure is the backbone of a strong modern economy. Through investing in innovative, bold projects such as HS2 and the world-leading research facility at the AMRC we can attract jobs, create new business opportunities and establish the UK as a leader in the global race.

"The government is investing more and stripping back planning so that we can get on with delivering our infrastructure priorities, but we also have to get businesses, local leaders and innovators to take action across the UK. I've been very grateful to hear the views of local leaders in the Sheffield City Region on how they are taking action to make sure they maximise the benefit of big, ambitious infrastructure investment in the area."
Last week, the Archbishop of York was given a guided tour of The AMRC facilities by Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, executive dean of the University of Sheffield AMRC (pictured, top). The archbishop said that he was keen to see how advanced manufacturing is contributing to regeneration in this area.

Rab Scott, Head of Virtual Reality and Simulation at the Nuclear AMRC also demonstrated how virtual, three-dimensional, interactive environments are being created to support the centre's work in product design, planning, assembly and training (pictured, above).

Next week, Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, will be leading a delegation on manufacturing and engineering to Japan on behalf of the AMRC with Boeing and Nuclear AMRC.

AMRC website

Images: The Office of the Archbishop of York

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