Thursday, June 19, 2014

News: Government confirms £7m for AMRC

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The Government is set to confirm a £7m grant to the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing in Rotherham at the Manufacturing Summit today.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, the AMRC is a world class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. The multimillion pound partnership between industry and academia has become a model for collaborative research centres worldwide and now boasts 75 partners, including Boeing and Rolls Royce.

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills is hosting the summit as part of the International Festival of Business on Merseyside to engage with hundreds of business leaders and manufacturers from across the country. It aims to highlight the progress in implementing the Government's industrial strategy and progress with issues raised at last year's summit, and demonstrate the Government's ongoing support and commitment to manufacturing industry in the UK.

One key announcement is the launch of Round 6 of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), with £200m available. The RGF is the Government's main source of funding for economic development and regeneration. The AMRC and Nuclear AMRC have secured millions in previous rounds for state of the art facilities on the AMP.

Vince Cable is also set to announce a £7m grant to the AMRC. It follows on from the announcement earlier this month that the AMRC and the University of Sheffield will join a number of partners to carry out research and development to reduce carbon emissions by using lightweight composite materials to make Rolls-Royce engines. Research will also focus on changing parts of the engine design to make engines more efficient and reducing the time it takes to manufacture them.

The government has committed £45m to the project as part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, which provides a single, national focus for technology research and facilities in the sector.

In his speech at the Manufacturing Summit, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is expected to say: "As the economy improves, many of you are questioning just how committed Whitehall will be to sticking to this course in the long-term.

"You work in industries where it can take you years to develop your next big idea: whether it's three to five years to develop a new car, ten years to produce a new drug and up to 15 years to design and build a new aircraft.

"These timescales do not sit easily with the minute-by-minute demands, and five-year election cycles of the political world. And, over and over again, in Britain, we've seen politics not business drive the focus and scope of our country's industrial policy.

"To put it bluntly - we need to take the politics out of Britain's industrial policy."

The AMRC will get to showcase its ground-breaking research to the world next week when it hosts the Global Manufacturing Festival on June 25.

AMRC website

Images: AMRC

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