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£127 million backing for South Yorkshire innovation

The Advanced Manufacturing Park
The Advanced Manufacturing Park
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Millions of pounds in funding has been promised to world-leading research centres across South Yorkshire to fuel innovation and help them expand their research and development capabilities.

The funding will see the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which is based in both Sheffield and Rotherham receive £81 million over five years and the Nuclear Advanced Research Centre in Rotherham gain around £46 million.

The AMRC specialises in carrying out world-leading research into advanced machining, manufacturing and materials, which is of practical use to the industry.

Since its launch in 2001, they have gained over 100 industrial partners including the likes of Boeing and Rolls-Royce and it has expanded to include three research facilities and they are now establishing regional facilities in other parts of the country.

The Nuclear AMRC was established later on in 2009, and as well as having its research factory on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Catcliffe, it is developing new specialist research and development facilities in Birkenhead and Derby and will play a key role in the nuclear sector deal which was announced a few months ago.

Professor Keith Ridgway, Executive Dean for the two centres, says: "This is a tremendous vote of confidence in the work we do with our industrial partners, and another significant boost for the Sheffield City Region and its emerging Global Innovation Corridor.

"As members of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, we are part of a larger network of research and innovation assets that are helping to solve the conundrum of the UK's productivity challenge. Our ability to draw on the research excellence of the University of Sheffield also gives us an additional edge. It means we are able to connect fundamental and basic science to translational research that makes a bigger impact on the factory floor.

"The new money will enable us to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies across advanced manufacturing, in line with the Industrial Strategy and Juergen Maier's Made Smarter Review. It shows joined up thinking at the heart of government and a determination to re-balance the economy with advanced manufacturing at its heart, supported by some of the best researchers in the world: here in the Sheffield City Region."

Across the country, sucessful 'catapult centres' will benefit from a total of £780 million, according to the Chancellor Phillip Hammond, after he made the announcement on August 10.

The funding will help the expansion of the centres which are fuelling innovation, including those in our region, as part of the countries ambitious, modern industrial strategy.

So far this has helped create hundreds of new products, services and inventions, including a portable pollution sensor that parents can attach to a child’s buggy, cellular therapies to fight cancer and improve recovery of stroke victims, LED treatment for blindness, and more-efficient wings for aeroplanes.

The Chancellor made the announcement on the day GDP figures showed the UK economy has grown by 0.4%

The investment also includes funding for centres focusing on technology areas including Energy Systems, Offshore Renewable Energy, Cell & Gene Therapy, Satellite Applications, and Compound Semiconductors.