£60 million boost to strengthen UK manufacturing base


Six new £10 million research hubs that will explore and improve new manufacturing techniques across fields such as targeted biological medicines, 3D printing and composite materials have been announced by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is providing support to three of the new hubs, through the main Teddington site and two of its regional bases in Huddersfield and Strathclyde.

Manufacturing machine

Funded by government through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the hubs will draw together expertise from 17 universities and 200 industrial and academic partners to upgrade the UK’s manufacturing capabilities and take greater advantage of the UK’s innovative strengths. Through increased collaboration between universities and industry, more products can be developed to meet industry needs and progress from the research lab to market – boosting the UK economy.

NPL is providing support to three of the six hubs: the Future Metrology Hub, led by the University of Huddersfield; the Future Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation (CMAC) Research Hub, led by the University of Strathclyde; and the Future Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Hub, led by Cardiff University.

Prof John Bancroft, Director of NPL North of England, said: “This investment by EPSRC into the Future Metrology Hub at the University of Huddersfield is excellent news. NPL already has a regional centre based at the University of Huddersfield and is looking forward to working in close partnership to deliver new and innovative metrology expertise and resources. These will be aimed at helping businesses in the region and beyond to utilise world-leading measurement technologies and capabilities to improve their productivity and competitiveness, thereby generating growth in the UK’s manufacturing industries.”

Announcing this major investment in the UK’s manufacturing research base, Jo Johnson said: “Developing new innovative manufacturing techniques will help UK industry create new products, explore more business opportunities and ensure the UK becomes more competitive and productive.”