Thursday, December 4, 2014

News: AMRC to share in Government cash boost


The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing and adjacent operation, the Nuclear AMRC, are set to support further manufacturing businesses as the Government announces a £61m funding boost for the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult Centres.

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.

Next door is the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), which aims to enhance the capabilities and competitiveness of the UK civil nuclear manufacturing industry, and is also part of the HVM Catapult.

In 2010 the UK invested £200min a network of Catapult Centres designed to close the gap between universities and industry, creating infrastructures which would rapidly translate research into productivity.

Chancellor George Osborne announced additional government support in his Autumn Statement with £61m of investment to provide the High Value Manufacturing Catapult with the capability to reach out to a wider reach of manufacturing sectors and to engage more Smaller and Medium sized manufacturing businesses.

A recently published report by entrepreneur Hermann Hauser into the Government's strategy for harnessing innovation through partnerships between business and universities, included a call for greater investment in UK research and development, leading to 30 Catapult centres across the UK by 2030. £28m investment was announced yesterday for the creation of a National Formulation Centre within the High Value Manufacturing Catapult's Centre for Process Innovation in the North East of England.

Both Sheffield University and The AMRC with Boeing are also set to share in the £235m funding package for the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Material Science that was also announced yesterday.

Much of the AMRC's work in the Sir Henry Royce Institute is expected to focus on developments in powder metallurgy, aimed at improving the quality and capabilities of the technology, so that it can be more widely used in manufacturing.

Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, executive dean of the AMRC, said: "The Chancellor's announcement is further confirmation of the Sheffield region's place at the forefront of developing technology so that it can give UK manufacturers a global competitive edge.

"There has been a lot of hype around some technologies involving powdered metals, but there are genuine practical opportunities, particularly if we can improve the quality of powders and processes.

"That is the sort of work we plan to be carrying out, thanks to this announcement."

The AMRC will work closely with industrial partners, including local manufacturers, on programmes which are likely to focus on developing metal powders, powder quality and production and component manufacturing technologies which use powdered metals such as Metal Injection Moulding (MIM), Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP).

AMRC website

Images: The AMRC


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