18 June 2012
Government investment to stimulate innovation in manufacturing
Sixteen new R&D projects aimed at stimulating innovation in the UK's manufacturing sector are to share government funding of more than £6.5 million.
The EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and Technology Strategy Board are to provide grant funding, with the focus on production technologies thought to be able to create high value through novel processes, advanced manufacturing and resource efficiency.
Professor Dave Delpy, EPSRC chief exec, says that the projects will also encourage the development of technologies that will facilitate greater environmental sustainability through efficient disposal, recycling or remanufacture at the end of production assets' useful life.
"Investment in cutting edge manufacturing research and the translation of that into commercial applications is the key to economic success," states Delpy.
"EPSRC has a portfolio of 350 live projects and an investment of £380 million in the manufacturing sector," he adds.
According to Iain Gray, chief exec of the Technology Strategy Board, the projects will lead to the development of technologies such as: an innovative method of controlling and optimising car painting; autonomous intelligent machining; MIG brazing for high strength steel car frames; and sustainable and resource efficient titanium cutting.
"Manufacturing capability is often built on, and strengthened by such new-found technology and this can be a significant driver of economic growth," he says.
Companies leading the projects are: Airbus Operations, AMRC Manufacturing, Bluefrog Design, Colloids, GKN Aerospace, Innoval Technology, Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute, Renishaw, Technical Solutions 24 Seven, TeraView, The Manufacturing Technology Centre, Thompson Friction Welding, TWI, Umeco Structural Materials (Derby), Unilever and Vibraglaz (UK).
Bluefrog Design Ltd
GKN Aerospace Services
Innoval Technology Ltd
National Composite Centre
Technical Solutions 247 Ltd
Thompson Automation Systems
Unilever Research & Development
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