Government to pledge £14.1m for three new training centres

Posted on 19 Sep 2012

The Government is planning to spend £14.1m on three new training centres to facilitate the training of a new generation of specialists in emergent macromolecular therapies, continuous manufacturing and crystallisation, and 'ultra precision'.

David Willetts, Science Minister is to announce the grants during a tour of several universities in the East Midlands.

Mr Willetts will also meet senior research academics and business people at the universities, in line with the Government’s aim to promote the development of technologies that can power the next generation of UK manufacturing and help to drive economic growth.

The Minister is to spend the first part of his day officially opening the new Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IfAM) at The University of Nottingham. He will meet scientists and engineers working in fields such as additive manufacturing who have been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

In the afternoon Mr Willetts will attend the EPSRC’s ‘Manufacturing the Future’ conference at Loughborough University, where he will announce the establishment of the five new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT), funded by grants totalling £14.1m.

One CDT is to be established at University College, London (UCL) in the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies. Here, the focus will be on the most rapidly developing parts of the UK bio-centred pharmaceutical and healthcare biotechnology sector. The centre will support the translation of new scientific advances into safely produced, more selective, therapies for currently intractable conditions.

Another CDT will be located at the University of Strathclyde, and will focus on training students in the manufacture of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. It is hoped that this centre will contribute to bringing new products more quickly to market, using more reliable, energy-efficient and profitable manufacturing routes.

The Cambridge & Cranfield CDT in Ultra Precision will focus on the demand for large-scale, ultra precision, complex components by many emerging sectors and next generation products such as intelligent packaging and low-cost photovoltaics. It will retain existing collaborations with SMEs, which are seen as key components in the fields that require precision engineers.

The National Composites Centre in Bristol is to host a CDT that will train people in the field of polymer composites manufacturing – of particular relevance to the aerospace, automotive, marine, wind energy and construction industries.

Swansea University will be allocated funds to establish a centre for advanced training of engineering doctorates.