£8.9m for Lightweight Manufacturing Centre.
19 June 2017
A specialist centre to develop new manufacturing processes for
lightweight materials for the aerospace and automotive industries
is to be set up as a first step towards creating a National
Manufacturing Institute for Scotland.
The First Minister announced today that the £8.9m Lightweight
Manufacturing Centre, being set up in the former Doosan Babcock
facility in Westway, Renfrew, will support highly skilled jobs and
help place Scotland at the forefront of lightweight
It will be run by the University of Strathclyde's Advanced
Forming Research Centre (AFRC) in Inchinnan.
The centre will give Scottish companies a competitive edge in
new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials such as
titanium and carbon fibre, which are increasingly being used in the
aerospace, automotive, oil and gas and renewables industries.
Lightweight materials increase efficiency and performance and help
reduce carbon emissions.
Speaking to an audience of 75 companies at the AFRC, First
Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
"A vibrant and innovative manufacturing base is critical to
Scotland's economic success and to creating skilled employment
opportunities for the future.
The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre will help Scottish
businesses take advantage of the fact that sectors such as
aerospace and the automotive industry are making more and more use
of lightweight materials. It will deliver cutting edge research and
development projects with and for companies in Scotland.
"Scotland enjoys resources few nations can match, including one
of the most highly-educated workforces in Europe, a long-standing
reputation for excellence in innovation and engineering and an
"The Scottish Government will continue to do all we can to
support growth in the Scottish economy, including the Small
Business Bonus taking 100,000 business premises out of rates
altogether, investing in our £6 billion infrastructure plan and
delivering £200m of investment through the Scottish-European Growth
Co-investment Programme - the first tranche of investment through
the Scottish Growth Scheme."
The National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will equip
manufacturers to compete iin future international markets and
support the transformation of Scotland's manufacturing industry in
terms of innovation and digital opportunities, creating
sustainable, high-value and highly skilled jobs.
Andrew Colquhoun, CEO Doosan Babcock, said: "Doosan Babcock
welcomes the Scottish Government's initiative to bring high-quality
manufacturing jobs to Scotland. The investment to expand the
capabilities of the AFRC with this new Lightweight Manufacturing
Centre will help transform the manufacturing industry, keeping
Scotland at the forefront of innovation and engineering
"Innovative thinking and strong collaboration between Doosan
Babcock, AFRC, Strathclyde University and Scottish Enterprise has
driven this opportunity.
"Doosan Babcock are honoured that this facility will be located
within the Renfrew site, and look forward to supporting the
initiative and strengthening our links with both AFRC and
Scottish Enterprise managing director of strategy and sectors,
Linda Hanna, said: "Manufacturing in Scotland plays a vital role in
the success of our economy. As such, we need to ensure it is
equipped to respond to the changing global environment, remains
focussed on innovation and continues to attract international
"The establishment of this new Lightweight Manufacturing Centre
will do exactly that to help key industries in Scotland like
Aerospace, as well as many others, maximise opportunities from
light weight materials to open up new markets, reduce costs and
emissions. We look forward to continuing to work closely with
the AFRC and University of Strathclyde to help companies benefit
from this investment and utilise leading global manufacturing
techniques and processes."
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of
Strathclyde, said: "Scotland has a track-record of world-class
research and innovation, and is committed to setting new standards
in manufacturing and design. At Strathclyde, we are delighted to
have used our leading manufacturing capability to drive the
development of this new centre with the Scottish Government. The
centre is a crucial step towards transforming Scotland's
manufacturing industry, creating new opportunities and sustainable,
"We have a long history of bringing together academia, business
and industry, and government. Today's announcement will enable
companies of all sizes and across sectors to get involved in
leading-edge lightweighting research and expertise to help Scotland
compete on the world stage."
Funding for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre will consist of
£3.9m from the Scottish Government, £3.4m from Scottish Enterprise
and £1.6m from the Advanced Forming Research Centre.
The University of Strathclyde's Advanced Forming Research Centre
is a globally-recognised centre of excellence in innovative
manufacturing technologies, R&D, and metal forming and forging
research. The £60 million facility was established in 2009 with 12
members of staff. It now employs 133 highly skilled engineers,
researchers and business professionals.
The National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland is being
developed by the Scottish Government and Strathclyde University, in
association with the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering,
our Enterprise agencies, Skills Development Scotland, the
Scottish Funding Council and the private sector.
Source - The Scottish Government website