Wednesday, December 9, 2015

News: Catapults "essential to the UK's industrial future"


Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett says Catapult centres can help drive economic growth and boost the UK's nuclear industry.

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

The most advanced of these centres across the UK focus on High-Value Manufacturing and include the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing and Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), both of which are on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said: "UK manufacturing has a tremendous opportunity to be a global force in delivering the products which will be so important to sustainable civil nuclear energy.

"The University of Sheffield is already working closely with nuclear site developers, site operators, and companies across the UK to help them seize existing opportunities and be ready for the potential of technologies such as small modular reactors.

"However, we must not be complacent. Collaborative centres such as the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, part of the government-backed high-value manufacturing Catapult, are fundamental in making the difference in the UK, winning vital orders.

"This is a crucial time for the nuclear industry in the UK – with the right support we could be global players, securing skills and economic growth as we work with partners to sell excellent products to the world.

"Or we could miss an opportunity to benefit from an industry that will surely grow dramatically over the coming decades. This is why our university is so committed to partnership with industry and government to ensure the UK plc benefits in an area of potential national strength."

In 2010 Hermaann Hauser highlighted the AMRC's business model as a leading example of how research centres can make a long-term impact to the economy in his first report for the government. Four years later his second report set out recommendations to ministers on the future scope, shape and ambition of this Catapult network.

The HVM Catapult works with manufacturing companies of all sizes to stimulate and support the commercial application of new technologies through the development of innovative manufacturing processes.

In the recent spending review, the chancellor said that "spending on our new catapult centres will increase." George Osborne also announced new funding to develop small modular reactors in the UK. The Nuclear AMRC is working with the principal technology vendors in support of their drive for a UK small modular reactor.

Nuclear AMRC website

Images: Nuclear AMRC


Marcosimax December 9, 2015 at 3:57 PM  

Catapults are very good.. at employing lots of indigent scientists - but why isn't the £200m given to cash-starved engineering firms in the North which are desperate?
Innovate UK, which plans the catapult network, has put only one in the North West - an absolute scandal. And it's the wrong one - not the energy systems catapult, which went to the West Midlands when ALL of the UK's power engineering SMEs are.. in the North West.

When will anyone expert really take charge of the UK's innovation policy?

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