UK to invest £147m in six advanced manufacturing hubs
Six UK universities are to receive £60m of government funding to help establish research hubs aimed at improving manufacturing processes. A further £87.5m will be contributed by partners, academia and industry.
The investment, announced by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson, is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy to boost growth. Under this strategy, announced in last November’s Autumn Statement, the government has pledged to invest an extra £2bn in research and innovation by 2020/21 to unlock the potential of the UK’s research base in areas such as robotics and biotechnology.
Each of the new hubs – which cover technologies such as 3D printing and composite materials – will receive £10m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. They will draw together experts from 17 universities and 200 industrial and academic partners.
Some of the hubs will build on the earlier Centres for Innovative Manufacturing, while others are new ventures with strong links to industry and to organisations such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
By increasing collaboration between universities and industry, it is hoped that more products will be developed to help boost the UK economy.
“Developing new innovative manufacturing techniques will help UK industry create new products, explore more business opportunities and ensure the UK becomes more competitive and productive,” says Johnson. “This investment will lay the foundations to allow industry and our world-leading universities to thrive for years to come, and is exactly the type of project that our upcoming Industrial Strategy will look to support.”