New Scottish R&D hub set to support manufacturing industry and catalyse economic growth

Article by Kerry Hebden

THE National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has opened a new, flagship facility designed to support manufacturing, engineering, and associated technology businesses of all sizes. Its activities are geared towards improving productivity, tapping into emerging markets, embracing new technologies, and achieving net-zero targets. 

Located at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) in Renfrewshire, the new 11,500 m2 carbon neutral campus features a variety of technology zones dedicated to growth areas, including: a food and drink cyber-physical demonstrator; a factory command centre; and a hub dedicated to helping manufacturers embrace the circular economy and extend the life of their products and systems.  

The state-of-the-art facility also features a large-scale rooftop solar array for electricity generation, access to a state-of-the-art low-carbon district heating network, and a rainwater harvesting system.  

NMIS, which is operated by the University of Strathclyde, said Scotland’s manufacturing sector employs more than 179,000 people and is responsible for more than 50% of the country’s international exports and 47% of business expenditure on R&D.  

The institute, also based in Renfrewshire, has worked with the Digital Process Manufacturing Centre in Ayrshire, and helped to deliver more than 150 research and development projects for 142 different customers and partners. The partnership also upskilled and reskilled more than 1,300 people, placed more than 80 graduate trainees in Scottish manufacturing, and supported more than 100 internships.  

Speaking at the opening, Chris Courtney, CEO of NMIS said: “A facility of this scale and ambition doesn't happen by chance... It's been a truly collaborative effort – from creating a shared vision of NMIS to delivering our world-class new building.”  

Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, who officially opened the facility at a special ceremony said: “The opening of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) is an exciting moment... Scotland is one of the most innovative nations in the world. By bringing together research, industry and the public sector, this facility will allow companies of all sizes to embrace creative manufacturing techniques and support cutting-edge research. Manufacturing is critical to our long-term economic recovery and this centre, which the Scottish Government provided funding of £75 million towards, will support that.” 

Article by Kerry Hebden

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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