Lord Sainsbury praises the work of the UK's Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres

September 14, 2004

These are just some of the achievements in Innovative Manufacturing in the UK being highlighted at an event in Manchester today (14th Sept).

The Government's recent Spending Review and the launch of the Science and Innovation Investment Framework both emphasised the importance of raising industrial investment and involvement in research. This event aims to show how the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is doing this through its Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres.

Speaking at the event, Lord Sainsbury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Science and Innovation, will outline the significance of investment in this area.

"It is vital that the innovation, and the benefits from leading-edge scientific and technological research feed directly into exciting new products and manufacturing processes," said Lord Sainsbury. "Through excellent collaboration between industry and Higher Education Institutions, the regional network of Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres are at the forefront of driving forward innovations in manufacturing and improving competitiveness. There are two important sides to knowledge transfer - 'science base push' as well as 'business pull'. Although innovation depends largely on the knowledge, risk-taking, and creative energy of business, the Government remains committed to encouraging scientists and engineers to turn their research into new products and services and to engage more fully with business."

In 2001 the first series of Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres were established by EPSRC with the support of collaborating companies and other funding agencies.

Seventeen IMRCs are now in operation and are making advances in areas ranging from laser processing and digital tools for manufacturing to sports technology, healthcare, transport and e-manufacturing.
Notes for Editors:

The 17 Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres (IMRCs):

Bath Management IMRC
Centre Director: Professor Andrew Graves
Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre - University of Bath
Centre Director: Professor Cliff Burrows
Built Environment Innovation Centre (BEIC) - Imperial College
Centre Director: Professor David Gann, Professor James Barlow
Cambridge Engineering Design Centre
Centre Director: Dr P John Clarkson
Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing
Centre Director: Professor Mike Gregory
Cardiff Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre
Centre Director: Professor Peter Hines
Cranfield Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre
Centre Director: Professor P. J. Deasley
e-Business Research Centre - University of Liverpool
Centre Director: Professor Dennis Kehoe
Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre (Loughborough)
Centre Director: Professor Paul Conway
Loughborough Innovative Manufacturing and Construction Research Centre
Centre Director: Professor Phill Dickens
Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Healthcare (MATCH)
Centre Director: Professor Terry Young
Nottingham Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (NMRC)
Centre Director: Professor Nabil Gindy
Innovative Construction Research Centre - University of Reading
Centre Director: Dr Stuart Green
Salford Centre for Research and Innovation in the Built and Human Environment
Centre Director: Professor Ghassan Aouad
Scottish Manufacturing Institute - Heriot-Watt University
Centre Director: Professor John Simmons
University College London Bioprocessing Centre
Centre Director: Professor Mike Hoare
Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre
Centre Director: Rajat Roy

(further information is available at http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/ResearchFunding/Programmes/InnovativeManufacturing/default.htm

Event Agenda:

14 September:
12:00 Exhibition Session
14:00 Manufacturing the Future (key speakers include David Leech, Director of Technology Transfer EPSRC, Professor Farrokh Mistree, Georgia Institute of Technology and Lord Sainsbury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Science and Innovation)
15:30 Exhibition Session
16:30 Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres and working with them (Professor Phill Dickens, Director of Loughborough IMRC)
18:00 Exhibition Session
19:00 Close

15 September
09:00 European Commission's Manufuture Action Plan (Christos Tokamanis, Industrial Technologies Directorate, European Commission)
10:30 Exhibition Session
11:30 Grand Challenges for the Future
12:30 Exhibition Session
14:00 Producing People for Manufacturing (Stuart Barnes, Warwick Manufacturing Group) and Management Research for Manufacturing (Professor Chris Voss, London Business School)

The event is taking place at Old Trafford Football Ground in Manchester.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. The EPSRC invests more than £500 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC also actively promotes public awareness of science and engineering. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. Website address for more information on EPSRC: www.epsrc.ac.uk/

For more information contact: Jane Reck, EPSRC Press Officer, tel: 44-179-344-4312, e-mail: jane.reck@epsrc.ac.uk

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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