Government chooses Cranfield University to lead UK manufacturing growth

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CRANFIELD University has been given a huge boost by the government to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of manufacturing research.

A £51 million cash injection will focus on pharmaceutical, aerospace and automotive industries, of which Cranfield has been selected.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will set up nine new ‘Centres for Innovative Manufacturing’ and Cranfield University has been selected as the top contributor, being appointed to five of these – three as the lead university and participating in a further two.

These national centres will focus on emerging science including next generation ultra-precision production systems and products, novel composite technologies and intelligent automation, helping generate new ideas that will fuel growth.

Announcing this initiative, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “Partnerships between higher education and industry are increasingly essential drivers of innovation, opportunity and national prosperity.

“These new centres will combine inventive research and business acumen to develop the high-tech manufacturing industries we need to secure sustainable growth.”

Cranfield’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir John O’Reilly, said: “We generate and transform knowledge. Having been selected by the ESPRC as a significant partner in this new initiative, we will build on our strengths to help UK manufacturing to remain competitive internationally.”

The university will lead the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Ultra Precision, the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing for Industrial Sustainability and the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Through-life Engineering Services.

It will also be a partner in the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites and the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation.