AMRC hailed as flagship model for clusters of excellence needed to make Britain fit for the future

26 April 2018

THE University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has been championed as a flagship example for the clusters of excellence needed to help businesses grow and make Britain fit for the future.

Delegates at the Composites UK Annual Conference, held at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) last week, were told by speaker Kate Thompson, from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), that the AMRC is a good working example of how to bring ideas and expertise together to help businesses compete, expand and thrive.

Kate was invited to speak at the conference about progressing the UK’s Industrial Strategy, a blueprint drawn up by government designed to boost productivity and earning power across the country. She is the lead for a team that works with government and industry to increase domestic market share for advanced materials such as carbon fibre reinforced plastics.

Kate explained how the government’s Industrial Strategy focuses on five foundations: ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places – with a clear vision for each.

She said: “When it comes to places, this is about working to create clusters of excellence and being clear on the benefits of bringing ideas together.”

She told the conference that companies such as Boeing and McLaren opening factories alongside the AMRC signalled ‘a huge vote of confidence’ in the UK sector and championed the AMRC as a good working model for clusters of excellence, pulling together knowledge and expertise to carry out world-leading research into advanced machining, manufacturing and materials with more than 100 industrial partners.

Kate said: “The fact that the AMRC has brought Boeing and McLaren here – that’s pretty much exactly what the government would want within clusters of excellence and having experts here and drawing in investment is perfect.

“It’s a very good example of the kind of thing we would want to see.”

The conference, organised by Composites UK, the trade association for the UK composites supply chain, attracts companies wanting to keep up to speed with strategic thinking. It covered a range of topics from securing the future of the UK composites industry and progress in delivering the UK composites strategy to building the infrastructure to support a UK supply chain.

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