UK government funds 16 R&D projects for hi-tech manufacturing

15 June 2012

The UK Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council are to provide £6.5 million grant funding to support the development of new technologies in manufacturing.

Sixteen research and development projects will share the funding. The focus of the R&D will be on production technologies that can create high value through novel processes, advanced product manufacture, and/or resource efficiency improvements.

The projects will also encourage the development of technologies that will facilitate greater environmental sustainability through efficient disposal, recycling or remanufacture of assets at the end of their useful life.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “The Technology Strategy Board has an important role to play, through funding for such collaborative research and development, helping UK businesses to accelerate the development of new equipment, processes and expertise brought about by technology innovation. Manufacturing capability is often built on, and strengthened by, such new-found technology and this can be a significant driver of economic growth.”

Professor Dave Delpy, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Chief Executive said: “Investment in cutting edge manufacturing research and the translation of that into commercial applications is the key to economic success. EPSRC has a portfolio of 350 live projects and an investment of £380 million in the manufacturing sector.

“The UK is not alone in placing increased importance on advanced manufacturing. Funding projects such as these will help maintain our competitiveness against international peers such as the US and Germany.”

The projects will lead to the development of technologies such as, for example:

  • an innovative method of controlling and optimizing car painting processes;
  • autonomous intelligent machining;
  • online control of welding processes using ultrasonic test techniques;
  • the sustainable and resource efficient cutting of titanium.

The companies leading the projects are: Airbus Operations Ltd, AMRC Manufacturing Ltd, Bluefrog Design Ltd, Colloids Ltd, GKN Aerospace, Innoval Technology, Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute Ltd, Renishaw plc, Technical Solutions 24 Seven Ltd, TeraView Ltd, The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd, Thompson Friction Welding Ltd, TWI Ltd, Umeco Structural Materials (Derby) Ltd, Unilever and Vibraglaz (UK) Ltd.

Further information

The Technology Strategy Board:

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council:


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