An £8.9 million centre to help companies benefit from lightweight manufacturing technology has been officially opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The centre, operated by the University of Strathclyde, is the first stage of establishing the £65 million National Manufacturing Institute Scotland that aims to make Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.
The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre will develop lighter, more efficient, components for high-value industries, including automotive and aerospace. It also has the potential to benefit other enterprises looking to replace traditional manufacturing processes and materials with the next generation of innovative solutions to help meet the engineering challenges of today and tomorrow.
Opening the centre, temporarily located in the Doosan Babcock facility in Renfrew, the First Minister said: “Our ambition is to build on Scotland’s long history of innovation and to be seen as modern inventors and producers, rather than just consumers of goods. It is really important as technology rapidly advances, that our economy must follow suit.
“This world-class centre will help us do just that, as the first stage of our new National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. Businesses across Scotland will benefit from access to state-of-the-art equipment and opportunities for collaboration and research and development. The opportunities that stem from lightweight manufacturing will help increase their competitiveness.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Lightweighting technology holds huge promise for a wide range of sectors, from making aircraft and vehicles lighter and more energy efficient, to improving renewable energy technology performance, and developing the next generation of materials for health care.
“The new centre provides the skills and services needed to place Scottish industry at the forefront of lightweight manufacturing, helping companies of all sizes compete globally. Today’s launch marks an important milestone in Scotland’s innovation journey, and we look forward to working side-by-side with businesses around the country.”