An additional £20 million has been announced for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), bringing total Scottish government investment to £75 million.
The investment in the facility, which includes the existing Lightweight Manufacturing Centre which opened last year as a specialist technology centre, will help develop the future of Scotland’s manufacturing sector as the economy rebuilds after the Covid-19 crisis.
The announcement comes as a contract is signed between University of Strathclyde and Morrisons Construction to build the new National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) facility. Operated by the University of Strathclyde, NMIS will be an industry led international centre of manufacturing expertise, aiming to attract investment and make Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing. Construction will begin later this year and is anticipated to take 18 months, supporting more than 200 jobs.
Additionally, £15.8 million of investment has been announced as the successful bidders to the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF) are confirmed. The 12 projects, which include universities, colleges, third sector organisations and local authorities, will offer free services across the country to help small- and medium-size enterprises develop their manufacturing capabilities.
Both NMIS and the AMCF will help Scotland’s manufacturing sector to transform skills, productivity and innovation.
The NMIS facility, next to Glasgow Airport, will be the anchor tenant for the Renfrewshire Council-led Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland, which also includes the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre, another specialist technology centre.
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Like many parts of the economy, manufacturing has been adversely affected by the impact of Covid-19. But the crisis has also demonstrated why we need a strong manufacturing sector, with many companies contributing to the national effort by re-purposing or scaling-up their activity to supply vital equipment to health and social care.Cutting-edge research
“The Scottish government is working with our partners to create a successful, vibrant and diverse manufacturing sector. The National Manufacturing Institute and the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund both form a key part of that, helping companies across Scotland to develop skills, perfect the latest techniques, and push forward with cutting-edge research.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The award of the contract to Morrison Construction and the appointment of John Reid as CEO are both significant milestones as we continue to develop the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland group of world-class industry-led manufacturing research and development facilities.
“As the anchor university for NMIS, Strathclyde is working with partners to bring together industry, academia and the public sector to help transform the future of manufacturing in Scotland. This is now more important than ever as we collectively work to recover from the impact of Covid-19.”
Scottish Enterprise managing director Linda Hanna said: “Helping manufacturers face new challenges and get back on track is our priority. NMIS, as a national centre, combined with the depth and reach of these 12 Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund projects delivered at a local level, will be a fantastic resource to help SMEs across the length and breadth of Scotland embrace innovation and use new technologies to support their competitiveness.
“A collaborative approach is vital to kick-start the economy, and it’s great to see this in action through both NMIS and the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund projects to support the future of Scottish manufacturing.”