University of Strathclyde manufacturing research centre to receive £96m from UK Government

Written by Jenni Davidson on 14 August 2018 in News

The Advanced Forming Research Centre is one of seven high-value manufacturing Catapult centres across the UK

Robots being used on a production line - Image credit: Steve Parsons/PA

The Advanced Forming Research Centre at the University of Strathclyde is to receive £96m as part of a round of UK Government funding for technological innovation centres across the UK.

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond announced £780m to expand the country’s ‘Catapult’ centres, high-tech hubs that are intended to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

The Advanced Forming Research Centre is one of seven high-value manufacturing Catapult centres across the UK and the only one in Scotland.

It is a centre of excellence in innovative manufacturing technologies, R&D, and metal forming and forging research, which works with a range of organisations, both global and local. 

The UK Government launched the Catapult centres in 2011 to act as catalysts for innovation and growth in areas of technology with high economic potential and to promote the commercialisation of academic research in the UK.

They cover ten different areas of technological innovation including cell and gene therapy, digital, offshore renewable energy, satellite applications and future cities.

The centres offer businesses of all sizes and from all sectors access to world-class equipment, expertise and collaborative working opportunities.

So far they have helped create hundreds of new products and services, including a portable pollution sensor that parents can attach to a child’s buggy, cellular therapies to fight cancer and improve recovery of stroke victims, LED treatment for blindness, and more efficient wings for aeroplanes.

Dr Ian Campbell, interim executive chair of Innovate UK, said: “Today’s significant announcement means our world-class network of Catapults can build on their success and continue helping thousands of businesses across the UK to undertake innovative R&D.

“This long-term investment will mean the Catapults can help deliver the grand challenges of the industrial strategy in their sectors and help the UK achieve its ambition to raise investment in R&D to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027.

“In their first five years the Catapults have supported around 3,000 small businesses to develop and exploit new technologies.

“They operate more than £850m world-class facilities and are also training hundreds of apprentices and doctoral students, such as at the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, where in the last year 900 apprentices have gained invaluable practical experience with cutting-edge technologies used in modern manufacturing.”

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “We are a nation of innovators, creators and entrepreneurs. Through our modern industrial strategy, backed by the largest investment in R&D in 40 years, we are boosting growth, creating new highly skilled jobs and helping change people’s lives for the better.

“This government wants to make the UK the most innovative nation in the world and the investment in our world-leading Catapult network will play a key role in building on UK strengths, bringing new ideas and products to market and helping drive local economies across the UK.”

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