Sector - Software & Technology

Lightweight Manufacturing Centre opens

The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, recently opened the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre at the Doosan Babcock facility in Renfrew.

The centre marks completion of the first stage in establishing the £65M National Manufacturing Institute and cost £8.9M to construct. Operated by the University of Strathclyde, the centre will assist companies in obtaining lightweight and efficient automotive and aeronautical parts using the next generation of materials.

Mrs Sturgeon stated: “Our ambition is to build on Scotland’s long history of innovation and to be modern inventors and producers, rather than just consumers of goods. It is 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. Businesses across Scotland will benefit from access to state-of-the-art equipment and opportunities for collaboration, research and development.”

The centre is temporarily based in Renfrew and will move permanently to the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland buildings in the late summer of 2021.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, stated: “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.

“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.”

Funding for the centre was also divided three ways between the Scottish Government, who provided £3.9M in funds, the University of Strathclyde, who provided £1.6M, and the company Scottish Enterprise, who provided £3.4M.

The director of National Opportunities at Scottish Enterprise, David Smith, stated: “For Scottish manufacturers to remain competitive, it’s increasingly important for them to embrace innovation and adopt new processes and technology.

“This is exactly how the LMC can help, especially for smaller manufacturers who want easy access to cutting-edge lightweighting expertise and facilities to grow their business.”

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