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New million pound Coventry and Warwickshire Hub for developing advanced lightweight metals

WMG’s Advanced Steels Research CentreWMG, at the University of Warwick, will be building on its reputation in materials research, as it is set to be a hub for the development and application of advanced lightweight metals, thanks to a £1m Growth Deal award from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

The award will create a local network of knowledge, equipment and skills – supporting WMG to share its expertise on steels and other advanced materials with companies in the CWLEP area, enabling them to exploit emerging technologies and new materials grades. In particular, those based on metallic materials and their effective forming and joining, often in combination with other materials.

The deal will fund new capital equipment, to be in WMG’s Advanced Steels Research Centre, based in the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Centre, which combined with WMG’s leading R&D capabilities will give local companies, in particular SMEs, the ability to introduce new market-leading products, improve the performance of existing products and introduce weight and/or cost saving in products.

The funds will enable WMG’s SME team and steels researchers to provide business assistance to companies in the CWLEP area, to enable them to work with WMG experts to exploit emerging technologies and new materials.

WMG’s Advanced Steels Research CentreWithin the Advanced Steels Research Centre, facilities will enable companies to understand and exploit new and improved materials and more efficient processes to enable product innovation to drive sustained economic growth in key applications – including aerospace, automotive, construction, consumer goods, defence, energy, engineering, lifting and excavating, packaging, rail, shipbuilding and transport.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, and Regius Professor in Manufacturing said:

“Just six months ago I was widely quoted in the engineering press and our regional media as saying that I believe that we are on the way to Coventry becoming a ‘Smart Motor City’.

“There have been several major developments in our region that are delivering on that vision, however this new investment by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership shows that Coventry and Warwickshire is once again leading the way, not just in automotive engineering, but in a wide range of advanced manufacturing technologies – just as we have done before.”

The funding from the CWLEP is part of an overall £89.4 million Growth Deal Package for Coventry and Warwickshire announced in January 2015.

Jonathan Browning, chairman of the CWLEP, said:

“The new hub will enable WMG to further strengthen its leading R&D capabilities, but also just as importantly will give other companies in Coventry and Warwickshire access to world class technology to bring new products to market or improve the capability of existing products.

“We’re proud of Coventry and Warwickshire’s reputation as a leader in automotive engineering and manufacturing, but it’s important not to stand still and we’re pleased this award through the Growth Deal will further boost the region’s expertise in advanced lightweighting.”

29 November 2016


Tom Frew, Senior Press and Media Relations Manager – University of Warwick:

a dot t dot frew at warwick dot ac dot uk