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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
21 June 2023
Humza Yousaf opens National Manufacturing Institute Scotland skills academy

Humza Yousaf opened the skills academy which houses a fully connected digital factory | Scottish Government Flickr

Humza Yousaf opens National Manufacturing Institute Scotland skills academy

Humza Yousaf has opened a new skills academy home to a fully connected digital factory.  

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) Manufacturing Skills Academy aims to catalyse economic growth and skills development.  

The 11,500 metre-squared carbon-neutral campus at Inchinnan, near Paisley, will support advanced manufacturing, engineering and associated technology businesses of all sizes, while innovative research and development will help to improve productivity, embrace new technologies, and meet net-zero targets.  

The facility features digital technology zones, including a food and beverage cyber-physical demonstrator, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connected shop floor, a factory command centre, and a hub dedicated to helping manufacturers embrace the circular economy.  

Promoting the potential of digital technologies that help drive manufacturers towards net-zero will be a key role of the new factory.  

Scotland’s manufacturing sector employs over 179,000 people and is responsible for more than 50% of the country’s international exports and 47% of business expenditure on research and development.  

Yousaf said: “The opening of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) is an exciting moment – it will ensure that Scotland’s long history of innovation and engineering continues, and also support our drive to net zero.

“Scotland is one of the most innovative nations in the world. By bringing together research, industry and the public sector, this facility will allow companies of all sizes to embrace creative manufacturing techniques and support cutting edge research. Manufacturing is critical to our long-term economic recovery and this centre, which the Scottish Government provided funding of £75m towards, will support that.

“Today we are publishing the first annual progress report on our National Strategy for Economic Transformation. NMIS is a tangible example of the partnership working it promotes, showing our commitment to delivering for both business and people.”

Chris Courtney, CEO of NMIS said: “A facility of this scale and ambition doesn't happen by chance. Thank you to our colleagues and partners, who have worked together tirelessly for many years to make it a reality. It's been a truly collaborative effort – from creating a shared vision of NMIS to delivering our world-class new building.

"We now move into a phase of delivering on those ambitions through intense collaboration with industry and providing innovative solutions to their most challenging problems. Scotland has a strong manufacturing sector – supporting world-renowned capabilities in the maritime industry, renewable energies, food and drink, the satellites and space industry and many others. We also benefit from world-leading universities and a growing number of ambitious technology entrepreneurs.

"NMIS can play a crucial role in harnessing this potential to impact what we make and how we can do it more sustainably and efficiently. There is a real industrial demand for greener, innovative technology solutions that harness the power of digitalisation along with the future skills that we all need to thrive. We will work with our industry partners, talented team and the wider ecosystem to deliver this brighter manufacturing future.”

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