Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, welcomes today’s announcement by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills confirming £40 million capital investment in the UK Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).
Rolls-Royce is an inaugural industrial partner in the MTC, which was recognised in the Government’s manufacturing strategy, unveiled a year ago. It will develop innovative advanced manufacturing techniques to improve the UK's manufacturing competitiveness.
Support for the MTC has been led jointly by the East Midlands and West Midlands Development Agencies (emda and AWM).
The Centre will be located at Ansty Park, near Coventry. It will be owned and operated by a collaboration of research partners formed by the University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham, Loughborough University and TWI (The Welding Institute).
Dr Hamid Mughal, Rolls-Royce's Executive Vice President, Manufacturing Engineering, said: “Today’s announcement marks a key milestone for the UK’s manufacturing sector. High value-added manufacturing will increasingly play an important role in securing the UK's future competitiveness and prosperity.
“The MTC has been designed to enable Rolls-Royce, and other industrial partners to develop, evaluate and implement innovative manufacturing technologies to improvements in manufacturing performance.
“Our leading involvement in the MTC is a critical component of our strategy to develop a global network of advanced manufacturing research centres, and we are looking forward to working alongside our partners in the open, collaborative and innovative environment that the MTC will provide.”
Work on the MTC facility is due to start in early 2010. When completed in 2011, it will focus on assembly, automation and joining technologies. In 2010, the MTC partners will start building a portfolio of work to transition into the new facility once it opens.
Other members of the MTC include Airbus UK, Aero Engine Controls and Jaguar Land Rover. Membership is expected to grow rapidly and span a number of industrial high value sectors.
In addition to the MTC, Rolls-Royce has been involved in the development of a network of manufacturing research centres which span a broad range of manufacturing technologies.
The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield opened in 2004 and the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) will open next year in Glasgow. The company has also recently announced that it will play a leading role in the development and operation of the UK’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC).
The manufacturing research centre model uses public and private funding to bring academia and industry together, to pursue challenging, industrially relevant development projects. Industrial participation spans multiple sectors and involves the whole supply chain, including significant SME business involvement.