High-value manufacturing fellowships to forge stronger academia

University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre awarded £1 million grant in new scheme to allow academic staff to spend six-month research visits in HVM catapult centres.

A new visiting fellowship scheme aimed at strengthening the relationship between academics and the manufacturing sector and accelerating the transition of research from the laboratory to adoption by industry will be launched today at the second annual EPSRC Manufacturing the Future conference taking place at Cranfield University.

The first group of fellows, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will carry out research at one or more of the seven Centres of Excellence that collectively form the Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB) High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult. The aims of the scheme are to increase academic involvement in the HVM Catapult and accelerate the impact of EPSRC-funded research.

Announcing the fellowships, EPSRC’s Chair, Paul Golby, said: “EPSRC and TSB are working together to forge better links between the research base and industry. These fellowships will allow academics to immerse themselves in an industry-focused environment where they can increase their understanding and knowledge of the timescales, constraints and priorities required to bring research from the lab to the market.”

An initial £1 million grant has been awarded to the University of Sheffield to coordinate the scheme through the university’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). The fellowships will enable academic staff to spend six-month research visits in one or more of the HVM Catapult centres. These can be spread flexibly between one to four years. The projects must be aligned to work previously funded by EPSRC.

Dick Elsy, Chief Executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, said: “We have some of the best technology research in the world here in the UK, and the job of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is to help bring that to commercial fruition. This fellowship programme extends the links of the HVM Catapult with a much greater pool of research capability to deliver more of this technology to market. This is absolutely the right thing to be doing to support innovation in the UK”

Professor Richard Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield, said: “We’re delighted to be working with EPSRC and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to shorten the time taken for great new British academic research to be translated into new products and processes.”