Scotland’s new NMIS facility to boost advanced manufacturing in region

June 27, 2023

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland’s flagship facility is hoped to stimulate the country’s economy (Courtesy NMIS)
The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland’s flagship facility is hoped to stimulate the country’s economy (Courtesy NMIS)

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), operated by the University of Strathclyde, has opened a flagship facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) in Renfrewshire. The 11,500 m2 carbon-neutral campus will support manufacturing (including Additive Manufacturing), engineering and associated businesses of all sizes.

It is expected that the new facility will operate as a major stimulus to the country’s economy, skills development and commitment to sustainability. The facility’s R&D is expected to enable companies to become more productive, tap into emerging markets, embrace new technologies and achieve net-zero targets. Currently, Scotland’s manufacturing sector employs over 179,000 people and is responsible for over 50% of the country’s international exports and 47% of business expenditure on R&D.

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The new facility will be home to the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, a fully connected Digital Factory, and a publicly accessible collaboration hub. The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC) – which is also part of the NMIS group – will relocate from its current base in Renfrewshire, splitting its operations between the new building and NMIS’ founding centre the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

Featuring a variety of technology zones dedicated to growth areas, the NMIS Digital Factory will include a food and drink cyber-physical demonstrator, Industrial Internet of Things connected shop floor, 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 factory is intended to demonstrate the vast potential of digital technologies in helping manufacturers improve their products and processes in the drive towards a net-zero economy without sacrificing productivity.

The new facility will be home to the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, fully connected Digital Factory, and a publicly accessible collaboration hub (Courtesy NMIS)
The new facility will be home to the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, fully connected Digital Factory, and a publicly accessible collaboration hub (Courtesy NMIS)

“A facility of this scale and ambition doesn’t happen by chance. Thank you to our colleagues and partners, who have worked together tirelessly for many years to make it a reality. It’s been a truly collaborative effort – from creating a shared vision of NMIS to delivering our world-class new building,” stated Chris Courtney, CEO of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS). “We now move into a phase of delivering on those ambitions through intense collaboration with industry and providing innovative solutions to their most challenging problems. Scotland has a strong manufacturing sector – supporting world-renowned capabilities in the maritime industry, renewable energies, food and drink, the satellites and space industry and many others. We also benefit from world-leading universities and a growing number of ambitious technology entrepreneurs.

Courtney continued, “NMIS can play a crucial role in harnessing this potential to impact what we make and how we make it more sustainably and efficiently. There is a real industrial demand for greener, innovative technology solutions that harness the power of digitalisation, along with the future skills that we all need to thrive. We will work with our industry partners, talented team and the wider ecosystem to deliver this brighter manufacturing future.”

The building was opened by Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf at a ceremony this morning alongside NMIS CEO Chris Courtney; Professor Sir Jim McDonald, chair of the NMIS Board and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde; Katherine Bennett, CEO of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult; and Adrian Gillespie, CEO of Scottish Enterprise, along with senior delegates from across industry, academia, and the public sector.

Since 2019, NMIS has helped deliver more than 150 research and development projects for 142 different customers and partners. It has already upskilled and reskilled more than 1,300 people, placed over 80 graduate trainees in Scottish manufacturing, and supported at least 100 internships.

“NMIS will help to position Scotland and the UK as a globally competitive location for research, innovation and high-quality talent for advanced manufacturing across multiple sectors including aerospace, renewable energy, photonics and transport,” added Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Chair of the NMIS Board and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde. “As a unique element in Scotland’s growing innovation ecosystem, NMIS will play a leading role in creating Industry 4.0 capability by supporting industry in developing data, digital and artificial-intelligence-led solutions that will attract major investment to drive local and national economic value.”

NMIS is operated by the University of Strathclyde and supported by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Island Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Renfrewshire Council, and the Scottish Funding Council. It is also part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

www.nmis.scot

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