The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt. Hon George Osborne MP announced today (8th October) that Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company and the University of Birmingham and will be establishing a new £60m High Temperature Research Centre. The centre will help develop future generations of aero engines, making greener, more efficient air travel possible. Bringing together a leading global company with an internationally-recognised research group this new centre builds on a longstanding successful collaboration between the two organisations.
The new centre will be a unique casting, design, simulation and advanced manufacturing research facility. Focussed initially on the key manufacturing areas of investment casting, design for manufacture and systems simulation, the centre will then draw in additional research competencies related to these areas through wider industry and academic involvement.
Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham said: "Drawing on the University of Birmingham’s outstanding research base this new facility will create a step-change in research capability in the UK which will directly benefit the manufacturing sector of the economy and enhance the economic competitiveness of the region. We are delighted to be strengthening our long-standing partnership with Rolls-Royce, one of the UK’s flagship companies."
Dr. Hamid Mughal, Rolls-Royce, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing Engineering and Technology said; "We are delighted to be extending our advanced manufacturing and design research capabilities with the proposed development of the High Temperature Research Centre. This type of industrial and academic collaboration plays a crucial role in enabling high quality product and process innovation. High temperature metallurgy and the related advanced manufacturing processes will give our customers more efficient products and we are very pleased to strengthen our strategic partnership with the University of Birmingham in this key area of research."
Professor Paul Bowen, Head of the School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham said: "This investment underscores the global influence of the University of Birmingham’s metallurgical research and will build on the University of Birmingham’s recent investment in infrastructure and staff. This new centre will build on a track-record of excellence in casting, materials, engineering and manufacturing research at Birmingham."
The new centre will deliver world-class fundamental and applied research programmes focussed around delivering underpinning casting and related materials research, radical manufacturing process improvements and predictive manufacturing process modelling, and the development of research into ICT tools to enhance product quality and production efficiency.
This new facility will be funded by a £40million investment by Rolls-Royce matched by a £20million investment from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), through the UK Research Partnerships Investment Fund. This major new public and private capital investment will provide a significant economic stimulus for the UK and new high skilled jobs. There is an expectation that an additional £10million of private sector revenues through research programmes from the wider industrial base interacting will be possible over the first 5 years of operation.