The University of Strathclyde is set to benefit from a UK-wide £1 billion funding boost to help create the technologies of tomorrow.
The UK Government funding will expand successful ‘Catapult Centres’ which act as drivers for innovation across the country, including three in which Strathclyde is a partner: the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the Satellite Applications Catapult.
The funding includes £96 million for Scotland, which will go to the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) – Strathclyde’s lead in the High Value Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
The announcement comes the same day the AFRC secured a further £16.5 million to establish FutureForge, a major new advanced engineering facility that will revolutionise the global hot forging sector.
The Catapult funding round was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond. He said: “Today’s investment will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future, and the better, highly-paid jobs we urgently need.”
Strathclyde Principal Professor Jim McDonald said: “We are proud of our work with business and industry; work which accelerates the development of new technologies, creates jobs, and provides education and training for future leaders. The strategic collaborations we have established with industry and our public sector partners are helping to establish Scotland as an international leader in key manufacturing technologies.
“The Catapult Centres offer world-class facilities and expertise to help businesses become more innovative and grow. I’m delighted that today’s funding will enable us to further this work, supporting more businesses to compete on the world stage.”
AFRC Executive Chair Professor Keith Ridgway CBE added: “We warmly welcome this morning’s news. For a number of years the Advanced Forming Research Centre has been at the heart of manufacturing research and development in Scotland, turning innovative technologies into commercial reality and making manufacturing businesses, of all sizes from across the sector, more competitive in a global market. The funding announcement by the UK Government means we can continue to build on our capabilities.”
Innovation at Strathclyde
As a leading international technological university, Strathclyde is renowned for working with business and industry to find solutions to global challenges, help companies to innovate and compete, and to support the growth of our economy.
- The University is a partner in three of the UK’s seven Catapult Centres, which are funded by the UK government to transform the UK’s capability for innovation and drive future economic growth.
- In a first for Scotland, Strathclyde is leading work to develop the Glasgow City Innovation District – a beacon for innovative organisations both in the UK and for inwardly investing global companies. The University’s Technology and Innovation Centre is the cornerstone of the District, with growing clusters of collaborative research in areas including space, 5G, quantum technology, Fintech, health technology and industrial informatics.
- Opened by the Queen in 2015, the Technology and Innovation Centre has already attracted leading businesses to collaborate on research and innovation, as well as being the UK headquarters of Europe’s largest contract research organisation, Fraunhofer.
- At the same time, the University’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) near Glasgow Airport has more than doubled in size to meet demand from industry partners looking to develop innovative manufacturing techniques.
- The University is the anchor partner of the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, announced by the First Minister in December 2017.
- A second innovation district is developing around the national institute, including a Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, which will see Strathclyde expertise helping to revolutionise the way medicines are manufactured.