Flagship centre for a new world officially opens
A NEW flagship research facility at the University of Nottingham will help future-proof British industry as global competition intensifies.
The Advanced Manufacturing Building (AMB) houses the university’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and is already a landmark building in Derby Road, Nottingham. The building was formally opened yesterday by Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK, the electronics giant with which the university works closely.
Mr Maier said: “This new facility heralds the start of something truly special for Nottingham, and will help place the region and indeed the country at the cutting edge of digital manufacturing.
“It’s important because our future lies in driving a new technological revolution focusing on artificial intelligence, automation, robotics and 3D printing as well as many other new exciting technologies.”
Institute director Professor Svetan Ratchev said the new building housed one of the largest manufacturing, engineering, teaching and research facilities in the UK with 400 staff, students and researchers. He said: “Skills challenges remain a key issue for many manufacturing businesses in the UK, due to factors such as the fast pace of technology development, an ageing workforce and a shortage of graduates with relevant multi-disciplinary skills and experience.”
The institute will help shape manufacturing research nationally and internationally, supplying the technology and specialist skills to support key industrial sectors and encourage the growth of emerging industries.
The university works with manufacturers of all sizes to deliver world-class research and transfer the knowledge created into high-impact industrial technologies.
Prof Ratchev said the institute would become a key business incubator for new manufacturing start-ups in the East Midlands. Called Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring, the institute is working with the Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing to help small and medium-sized firms benefit from lowcost data analytics and smart technologies.
Midlands Engine chairman, Sir John Peace, said: “Our industries in the Midlands are known for being at the forefront of technological innovation.
“This new facility will help reinforce the Midlands as a region that is at the cutting edge of digital manufacturing and, at the same time, provide our businesses with a workforce that has all of the necessary skills that will help our businesses thrive.”
D2N2, the local enterprise partnership, has invested £5 million in the project through the local growth fund. The university said the research facility will transform UK manufacturing in the digital age.
The 96,000 sq ft AMB, on the Jubilee Campus, designed by Sheffield architects Bond Bryan, cost £24 million.
The facility has capacity for 700 students and houses the Rolls-royce University Technology Centre for manufacturing technology. Many of the world’s leading companies such as Airbus, BAE Systems, BMW, Bentley Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Nestle and Pepsico work with the university.
The Advanced Manufacturing Building in Derby Road, Nottingham
Siemens UK chief executive Juergen Maier, director of the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Professor Svetan Ratchev and deputy vice-chancellor Professor Andy Long in the centre for aerospace study at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing