University of Huddersfield to Launch £30m UK Manufacturing Research Centre

University of Huddersfield to Launch £30m UK Manufacturing Research Centre

A new £30m research centre to help transform UK manufacturing is set to be based at the University of Huddersfield.

The Future Metrology Hub will be situated in the University’s Centre for Precision Technologies, which houses a team of researchers in precision engineering and metrology.

Researchers at the universities of Sheffield, Loughborough and Bath will provide complementary expertise and support, as will the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) from its bases at Teddington and Huddersfield.

The Hub is set to address major, long-term challenges facing UK manufacturing industries.

A large team of industrial partners, including companies from a wide variety of industrial sectors, will also provide funding and support to the Hub.

More than £30m has so far been pledged across the consortium, and new partners will be sought as the research progresses.

As part of the Government’s commitment to supporting manufacturing research in the UK, the Huddersfield research centre will receive a major investment of £10m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and be one of six new Future Manufacturing Research Hubs.

Professor Jane Jiang, who will head the Huddersfield-led Hub, said: Our vision is to develop new technologies and universal methods that will integrate measurement science with design and production processes to improve control, quality and productivity.

These will become part of the critical infrastructure for a new generation of digital, high value manufacturing, the so called 4th industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0.

The term ‘Industry 4.0’ has been coined to describe the digitisation and automation of manufacturing, using the power of modern computers and technology such as networks of sensors and the massive amounts of data they can collect.

Simon McKenna, who is the Hub’s director of operations, added: We’ve built a really strong consortium of researchers, technology developers, service providers and manufacturing end-users to deliver our Hub vision.

Having this extended team in place will ensure outputs from the research programme are fully exploited to deliver real and lasting impact for the UK economy.

The Hub will officially launch in early 2017.

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