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University teams up with advanced manufacturing centre to support SMEs

The University of Central Lancashire has announced a new partnership with Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to support SME manufacturers in the region.

The partnership aims to strengthen engineering and manufacturing opportunities in the North West by delivering collaborative R&D projects, developing graduate talent and supporting innovation across a range of manufacturing sectors - from aerospace and automotive to low carbon energy. 

The University of Sheffields AMRC is a world-renowned advanced manufacturing R&D facility, established in 2001 as a collaborative enterprise with Boeing. Today, its members include many of the worlds leading aerospace firms such as Airbus, BAE Systems and Roll-Royce. 

UCLan is now working with the AMRC on a number of research projects, including the worlds first graphene-skinned plane and other R&D activities at its new £35 million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC), which will officially open in September.  


Michael Ahern, Chief Operating Officer, UCLan,  Melissa Conlon, Commercial Director and Dr James Hughes, Research Director AMRC North West and Professor Keith Ridgway, Executive Dean of the AMRC.​

Michael Ahern, Chief Operating Officer at UCLan, said: 

This is an important and significant partnership for Lancashire and the North West, which will ensure the region is an attractive destination for inward investment and the creation of new businesses, in addition to providing the highest level of support for existing engineering and manufacturing companies. 

It also means the area will be home to some of the best learning and applied research facilities in the world. From staff and students, to SMEs and large businesses, its an exciting time for all who are set to benefit. 

Looking further forward, the AMRC plans to open a purpose-built, £25 million+ facility at the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone in 2021. Prof Keith Ridgway, Co-founder and Executive Dean of the AMRC, said: 

Within the geographies of the Sheffield City Region and Lancashire lies a unique opportunity. It has all the components required to equip the UK to deliver the vision of the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0. This partnership with UCLan is part of realising that vision. 

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