UK government invests £70 million in manufacturing research centres
19 January 2010
The first three state of the art manufacturing research
centres funded under a new £70m Government investment will be based at
Southampton, Loughborough and Brunel universities.
The funds will help UK businesses develop the technology products of the
future and underpin manufacturing growth, according to Business
Secretary Lord Mandelson.
The three new Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
(EPSRC) centres will focus research efforts in the fields of:
- photonics (the science and application of light using
optical fibres to revolutionise the internet and telecommunications)
at Southampton University;
- regenerative medicine (therapies to enable damaged,
diseased or defective tissues to work normally again) at
Loughborough University; and
- liquid metals (developing innovative technologies for the
reuse and recycling of metal) at Brunel University.
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: “A highly skilled, innovative
manufacturing sector is vital to Britain’s future economic growth. This
£70m of Government funding will see universities and businesses working
together to commercialise academic research. Southampton University has
turned academic research into products that are used to navigate
airliners, power the internet and manufacture your iPhone. With more
investment to bring these two sectors together we can strengthen our
future innovation and growth.”
Professor David Delpy, Chief Executive of EPSRC, the UK’s largest
government funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research
and postgraduate skills, said: “EPSRC’s new manufacturing centres will
focus on areas of pioneering research that has the potential to create
new industries and new jobs for the UK.
“They will save lives through advances in regenerative medicine,
develop recycled forms of metal which are environmentally friendly, and
harness light to revolutionise the internet and telecommunications.
“UK research in photonics has changed all our lives, allowing us to
navigate airliners, power the internet, manufacture your iPhone, sculpt
medical devices, and keep us safe from attack.”
These three new centres are the first in a £70m investment EPSRC will
make in this area over the next year, also attracting industry partners
and investment. They centres will each focus on a key growth sector:
EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Photonics
University of Southampton
- This centre will work with industry to develop the next
generation of optical fibre materials and technology platforms,
train a new generation of engineers and fuel growth in
- Investment from EPSRC will total £4.7 million over a
five-year period starting in March and 13 industrial partners will
contribute a further £4.6 million.
EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative
Medicine Loughborough University
- This centre will carry out world-leading research, test
and implement ideas in clinical and industrial settings, create next
generation platforms for manufacturing regenerative medicines and
inform business models, policy and public debate.
- Investment from EPSRC will total £5.3m over a five-year
period starting in September and 28 industrial and government
partners will contribute a further £3m.
- Partner universities are Nottingham and Keele.
EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Liquid Metal
Brunel University (London)
- This centre will work with industrial partners to develop
innovative technologies for the reuse and recycling of metal. This
will lead to substantial conservation of natural resources,
reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
- Investment from EPSRC will total £4.5m over a five-year
period starting in February and 15 industrial partners will
contribute a further £4.6m.
- Partner universities are Oxford and Birmingham.