Science Minister Lord Sainsbury has announced the creation of 12 'Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres' based in academic institutions across the UK and backed by 60 million pounds sterling government cash. The Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick will recieve approx 5 million pounds of this cash.
The Centres will be located at Universities in Warwick, Cambridge, Loughborough, Salford, Liverpool, Reading, Nottingham, Bath, UCL and Cranfield. They will be led by a team of academics and research specialists and will support all aspects of manufacturing from aerospace to construction to bio-pharmaceutics.
Working in partnership with industry there will be a strong emphasis on business processes research, ensuring that activities add value and maintain competitive edge in the market place.
Bright ideas already under development at the Warwick centre include:
A company (Westbury) that is building customised houses in half the time taken using current housebuilding techniques;
Lighter, more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly cars.
The initiative is being co-ordinated by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, with the aim of ensuring that future generations of high quality science and engineering graduates and postgraduates will develop relevant additional skills in business and commerce at the centres to ultimately use in the workplace.
The Centres will also deliver the fundamental knowledge necessary to introduce new products and processes into the UK manufacturing industry.
Launching the initiative Lord Sainsbury said:
"This event marks an important development in securing an increasingly productive and competitive future for the UK's manufacturing sector. It is vital that innovation, and the benefits from leading-edge scientific and technological research feed directly into exciting new products and manufacturing processes."