- NPL, in partnership with industry and higher education institutes, receives early stage funding from the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Strength in Places Fund
- The Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute (AMPI) will drive innovation for the UK’s advanced machinery manufacturers
- The Institute will generate approx. 660 new direct jobs and 530 indirect jobs across the region
London August 2020 – The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in partnership with the University of Huddersfield, University of Salford, Rochdale Development Agency and PTG Holroyd Precision, have secured £50k early-stage funding for the Advanced Machinery and Productivity (AMP) Institute in Rochdale. The funding has been awarded through the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Strength in Places Fund (SIPF).
Driving innovation for the UK’s advanced machinery manufacturers, the AMP Institute will create the new machines and engineers needed to manufacture tomorrow’s technologies.
The AMP Institute will be centred around existing capabilities and research excellence across the North of England and reaching across the wider UK, to establish and develop economic growth in the design, development and manufacture of advanced machinery and robotic systems.
Providing a safe space, technical resources and the skills pipeline needed for advanced machinery innovation to flourish, the AMP Institute will fulfil a presently unaddressed, yet critical aspect, of the UK’s manufacturing innovation infrastructure.
Through partnership between NPL (the UK’s National Metrology Institute), industry, local government and higher education institutions, the AMP Institute will deliver a sustainable programme of innovation and skills directly impacting its own local economy and that of UK industry export.
The Strength in Places Fund is a pathfinder programme investing in research and innovation projects to boost research and innovation capacity in specific areas of the UK, driving economic growth in those areas. The AMP Institute will engage with over 40 companies across the region, with more being added nationwide, and work in partnership to improve the resilience of UK Advanced Machinery Manufacturing innovation and supply chains.
It will initially create 7 new jobs at the Institute and c.20 at the partner HEI’s, generating approximately 660 new direct jobs and 530 indirect jobs across the region. The Institute’s skills focus will provide a channel for local education providers to develop a sustained cohort of skilled staff. They, in combination with the more resilient and innovative supplier base, will make the region a more attractive place for inward investment.
National Physical Laboratory’s (NPL), Head of Engineering, Paul Shore stated: “The AMP Insitute is a direct response to the need for the UK to improve its productivity. The AMP Institute will support UK companies in developing machinery and automation products. It is these intelligent production systems that will facilitate UK productivity improvement through greater digitisation and automation within our future manufacturing landscape."
Holroyd and Precision Technologies Group CEO, Tony Bannan stated: “Our ambition is for AMPI to become a practical, accessible and potentially transformative resource for regional and national manufacturing companies – of all sizes. If your company needs machines, new technologies, advanced processes or integrated systems to make your products, or if you need targeted innovation and skills to improve productivity and competitiveness, then AMPI will help you.”
Rochdale Development Agency: “As a forward thinking and innovative manufacturing location, Rochdale is pleased to have been a long-term collaborative partner of the AMP Institute. We recognise that the AMP Institute will be the catalyst that drives a manufacturing technology revolution. It will foster the innovation that will generate wealth, improve skills and deliver prosperity for Rochdale and North of England.”
University of Huddersfield’s Professor of Machine Tool Metrology, Andrew Longstaff stated: “The in-depth knowledge of design, build and maintenance of incredibly complex manufacturing machinery is currently held in pockets across the UK. AMPI will blend world-class academic research with industrially-driven innovation to create a new generation of machines with the flexibility to meet the world’s changing manufacturing needs. Sustainability, productivity and adaptability are at the heart of our philosophy.”
University of Salford’s Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Samia Nefti-Meziani, stated: “Winning this award would enable us to build further on our cutting-edge research taking place in ASAR centre and on our recent success in winning the North of England Robotics innovation centre which will position Salford as a national and global leader in building smart machinery systems.”
UK Research and Innovation lead on the Strength in Places Fund, David Sweeney, said: “I am delighted to be able to award early-stage funding to this bid which has great potential to benefit the local area through supporting innovation and sustained growth, and strengthen collaboration between industry and our world-class research base.”
UK Research and Innovation Strength in Places Fund panel chair, Dame Kate Barker, said: "The Strength in Places panel was pleased to recommend this bid for early-stage funding. It provides evidence of excellent research that meets business need and great potential for collaboration, by bringing together a consortia to contribute to increased growth and productivity in areas of local economic activity."