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Welsh Government plans to invest £20 million in a new Advanced Manufacturing & Research Institute have been welcomed by Colin Sirett, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).
According to the AMRC, it has worked with Deeside Enterprise Zone Advisory Board, Swansea University, and Coleg Cambria to develop the new Institute in conjunction with SMEs and large companies. The Institute will focus on research into and development of advanced manufacturing techniques and production processes for advanced manufacturing sectors including aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food. It will also address training and skills needs across industry.
Announcing the investment, during a visit to the Airbus plant at Broughton, North Wales, Welsh Economy Secretary Ken Skates said, “The Institute will deliver game-changing support to key manufacturing companies as well as multi-sector supply chain companies and the broader SMEs economy.
“It is geared to increase productivity, commercialisation, innovation and skills development to ensure a thriving competitive industry base that will be a catalyst for growth and jobs across the supply chain in Deeside, North Wales, the Northern Powerhouse and further afield.”
The AMRC explains that Airbus will be the anchor tenant for the new Institute, which will incorporate a state of the art research and development facility at the European aircraft manufacturer’s Broughton plant, where it is working with the AMRC to develop new wing production technology as part of the Wing of the Future programme.
AMRC CEO, Colin Sirett, said, “The £20 million investment by the Welsh Government, combined with the £10 million from the project partners, will give an important boost to the competitiveness of the advanced manufacturing supply chain in Wales.
“The new institute’s impact will go far beyond aerospace, supporting both the automotive and nuclear industries in Wales.
“It also encompasses sectors which have not traditionally been thought of as part of advanced manufacturing, which can, nevertheless, reap major benefits from the new techniques and technologies we will be developing.”
The Institute will operate as a single entity, split between a proposed 4,500 sq m state of the art hub R&D facility in Broughton and a 1000 – 1,500 sq m networking, training, business development and advice facility in close proximity to the Deeside Industrial Park.
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