The new £65m National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) will be based in Renfrewshire, with Strathclyde University announced as the anchor university - home of the Advanced Forming Research Centre.
The National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland aims to help manufacturing businesses throughout Scotland become world leaders in innovation, with work to buld the centre expected to begin next year.
The Scottish Government will invest £48m in NMIS with £8m from the University of Strathclyde. This is in addition to the £8.9m announced in June 2017 for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre as a first step towards the wider centre.
Renfrewshire Council will provide a further £39.1m through the Glasgow City Region Deal to support wider infrastructure work at the site.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Economy Secretary Keith Brown made the announcement during a visit to Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing facility in Inchinnan. Rolls-Royce is a founding member of the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre – one of the UK’s seven High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapults.
The First Minister commented: “This exciting facility will be an industry-led international centre of manufacturing expertise. Research, industry and the public sector will work together to transform skills, productivity and innovation, attracting investment and making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.
“It will help companies right across Scotland embrace new manufacturing techniques, support cutting-edge research and help to further develop the skills of our workforce. The manufacturing jobs of the future offer exciting and rewarding careers for young people. We want to inspire them to work in this sector and revive Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering.
“Inchinnan provides a gateway to the world through proximity to the airport and revives Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering. Although the centre will sit on the Clydeside, the benefits will be felt throughout Scotland.
Manufacturing accounts for 52 % of Scotland’s international exports, and nearly £600m of Scotland’s spend on business research and development (R&D). Additionally, the sector employs more than 180,000 people across Scotland.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “By capitalising on world-class, industry-relevant research and supporting skills-development, the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will attract inward investment to Scotland, stimulate the creation of jobs and help companies compete globally.”
Earlier this year, The Manufacturer sat down with the AFRC’s chief technology officer, Dr Michael Ward, to discuss innovation, collaboration and investment.
You can read the resulting feature here.