National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

£14 million ‘levelling up’ funding to support Glasgow manufacturers to become greener and more productive

Ambitious manufacturing businesses across Glasgow City Region are set to benefit from £14 million ‘levelling up’ funding for three research and development (R&D) projects aiming to upskill the workforce, boost sustainability and productivity and accelerate local economic growth. 

The projects are led by the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), which is operated by the University of Strathclyde and part of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, and will see smaller manufacturing firms throughout the region receive innovation support from projects involving some of the biggest names in industry, including Boeing, Howden, British Airways maintenance, SSE Renewables and Babcock. 

With £5.4 million in funding from the Glasgow City Region Innovation Accelerator programme and up to an additional £8.6 million contributed by partners, the projects aim to develop the skills and technologies required for local manufacturers and their employees to futureproof their business and make the next generation of products. 

Chris Courtney, CEO National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), said: 

These projects represent a massive investment in the Glasgow city region’s manufacturing industry, which has an enduring legacy as one of the industrial powerhouses of Europe. As such, with support from the team at NMIS and our project partners, local manufacturing businesses of all sizes can capitalise on the global demand for greener, innovative technology solutions that harness the power of digitalisation.

“We’re excited to use these projects to strengthen local links between R&D and industry to deliver tangible benefits for everyone, including increased productivity and sustainability, business growth and jobs and happier and healthier communities.

The first project, ReMake Glasgow, will see the creation of a first-of-its-kind national Remake hub within the flagship NMIS building next to Glasgow Airport within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland. The hub will advance sustainable manufacturing by supporting reusing, refurbishing, and repairing parts and products instead of buying/making them new – saving up to 99% carbon emissions. 

The consortium includes Boeing, Howden – a Chart Industries Company, BA Maintenance Glasgow, SSE Renewables, ATS Global and Renewable Parts

Data Driven Design and Manufacturing Colab (D3M_Colab) will upskill 300 local engineers in data science to help them overcome manufacturing problems and improve productivity and sustainability within their organisations. Partners include engineering giant, Babcock, with participants from its Rosyth facility and HMNB Clyde operations taking part in the scheme following two successful pilot cohorts in 2022 during which 16 Scottish students took part in the data skills programme.

Finally, Stratellite, led by the NMIS Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC) with Thales as the industry partner, taps into Scotland’s growing satellite manufacturing sector and will see the development of an easy-to-reconfigure exploratory production line. The technology will help manufacturers to make new products for new markets without upfront investment in expensive production facilities. 

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Strathclyde, and Chair of the NMIS Board, said:

This trio of projects draws upon the research and manufacturing innovation expertise within the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and will create huge impact in helping businesses upskill and adopt state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing processes.

“At Strathclyde we are committed to developing innovative and transformative technologies in collaboration with our industry partners which can improve sustainability and productivity, as well as stimulate economic growth in the region and beyond.

“This a great example of the benefits that come from strategic collaboration across industry, business, academia and the public sector.

Led by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, the pilot Innovation Accelerator programme is investing £100 million in 26 transformative R&D projects to accelerate the growth of three high-potential innovation clusters – Glasgow City Region, Greater Manchester and West Midlands.

Dean Cook, Innovate UK’s Executive Director for Place and Levelling up, said:

We are delighted with how these three Innovation Accelerator Projects are making a significant contribution to the economy of Glasgow City Region.

“They are helping businesses develop and adopt cutting edge technologies and attract the extensive private sector investment, vital for the grow of its advanced manufacturing sector. They are strong examples of how this locally led approach is bringing together the whole ecosystem, leveraging the research expertise within University of Strathclyde, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, alongside key industrial partners.

“The Innovation Accelerator Programme is delivering on its commitment to drive the benefits of innovation across the City Region through a locally led strategy, with the support of UKRI and Government.

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