A new £7.5 million manufacturing technology centre has been opened by Queen’s University Belfast in collaboration with the government. The centre will benefit a number of manufacturing companies, with the aim of making them more competitive through increased productivity. The business partners include RLC Global Point; Moyola Precision Engineering; JW Kane Precision Engineering Ltd; Travan Precision Engineering, and Retec Engineering Solutions.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at Westminster, Innovate UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) are all backing up the project.
More details about the new facility at the Northern Ireland Technology Centre at Queen’s will be announced at the university’s Manufacturing Beyond The Horizon conference. It is part of what the university is calling the Centre for Intelligent Autonomous Manufacturing Systems (i-AMS), a research programme for developing new technologies for advanced manufacturing.
“Both i-AMS and the new facility are open for business and are already making a difference to the advanced manufacturing community in Northern Ireland and the UK,” said Professor Mark Price from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Queen’s. “This is a great example of industry, government and academia working in partnership to move Northern Ireland forward.”
Queen’s is one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, supporting 1 in every 74 jobs in the country, with its spin-out companies supporting 1,850 high-value jobs and generating an annual turnover of £215 million.
The university’s quality graduates and world-leading research attract foreign direct investment (FDI), making Belfast the top investment destination for USA FDI in Cyber Security thanks to the groundbreaking work carried out by its Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).
The total value of new research grants and contracts awarded to Queen’s during 2016-17 was £101.6 million, the first time the annual figure has topped £100 million. Queen’s was also the No 1 AHRC-funded university in the UK.