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Strathclyde's AFRC to oversee Lightweight Manufacturing Centre

05 July 2017

The University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) is to run the Scottish Government’s new £8.9 Lightweight Manufacturing Centre.

The specialist centre will develop new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials, such as titanium and carbon fibre, and will be the first step towards creating a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland. The centre will support highly-skilled jobs and help place Scotland at the forefront of lightweight manufacturing.

Making the announcement at a supply chain seminar held at the AFRC on 19th June, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon; said: “The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre will help Scottish businesses take advantage of the fact that sectors such as aerospace and the automotive industry are making more and more use of lightweight materials. It will deliver cutting edge research and development projects with and for companies in Scotland.”

The National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will equip manufacturers to compete in future international markets and support the transformation of Scotland’s manufacturing industry in terms of innovation and digital opportunities, creating sustainable, high-value and highly skilled jobs. 

Speaking after the announcement, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Strathclyde has a long history of bringing together academia, business and industry, and government. The new centre will enable companies of all sizes, and across sectors, to get involved in leading-edge lightweighting research and expertise to help Scotland compete on the world stage.”

Executive Chairman of the Advanced Forming Research Centre, Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, said: “We are delighted to be in a position to be able to use the capability and knowledge here at the AFRC, and within the wider Strathclyde community, to drive the development of the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre alongside the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.  

“Since opening in 2009 the AFRC has developed a track-record for world-class research and innovation in manufacturing and materials science, working with companies from across the manufacturing sector. We are very much at the heart of the manufacturing research and development in Scotland and look forward to helping more companies, big and small, boost their competitiveness and strengthen their businesses through the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre.”  

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