Member News

Nuclear AMRC Midlands opens for business

13 February 2019

Nuclear AMRC Midlands, a new research and innovation centre to support manufacturers across the region, is opening for business in the iHub at Infinity Park, Derby.

The new centre is a major expansion of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

Around 150 regional manufacturers and stakeholders have been invited to the launch event at the iHub on Wednesday 13 February, to experience the state of the art in manufacturing R&D in the Nuclear AMRC’s new workshops, and join high-level speakers from industry and government to discuss the challenges facing manufacturers of all sizes.

Industry speakers include Dr Hamid Mughal, director of manufacturing at Rolls-Royce; Will Tanner, director of public affairs at Bombardier; and Neil Foreman, chief executive of Centronic, a new member company of the Nuclear AMRC.

Speakers from government include Craig Lester, deputy director of nuclear strategy at BEIS, presenting an update on the UK’s nuclear programme; and Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council, discussing regional innovation challenges.

Andrew Storer, chief executive officer of the Nuclear AMRC, says:

“Our new facility in Derby gives us an incredible opportunity to work with manufacturers of all sizes operating in the most economically important industries across the Midlands. As well as helping companies win work in nuclear, the technologies we are developing can tackle the manufacturing challenges in automotive, rail, aerospace, renewable energy and many other high-value sectors.

“We have already helped dozens of Midlands-based manufacturers become Fit For Nuclear through our supply chain development programme, and want to collaborate with even more to support their ambitions to innovate and win work at home and worldwide.”

Minister for nuclear energy Richard Harrington says:

“Derby is famous for setting in motion Britain’s Industrial Revolution with some of the country’s first factories and spinning mills. Now, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy, this new centre of cutting-edge nuclear technology will help to boost local jobs, growth and expertise. The centre could bring millions of pounds into the region through a thriving supply chain, to ultimately provide low-carbon nuclear electricity to millions of UK homes.”

The new facility is a collaboration between the Nuclear AMRC, Derby City Council and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council said:

“The opening of Nuclear AMRC Midlands is a great milestone for our city and for the wider region, and we know the benefits to the economy, businesses and residents will be huge over the coming years.

“By working with Nuclear AMRC, we will assist in job creation, supply chain development and business growth. As well as creating access to research and development facilities with the potential to increase productivity further and help translate academic research from the lab into the production line. We’re delighted that Derby has been chosen but particularly pleased that our own iHub facility is going to be their home.”

D2N2 is the private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary services, which promotes jobs, business growth and the economy across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Infinity Park is one of four sites in the Nottingham & Derby Enterprise Zone, strategically overseen by D2N2. The LEP is allocating £12.9 million to develop Infinity Park’s infrastructure, over six years, from its Local Growth Fund allocation.

Elizabeth Fagan, chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, says:

“With this Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre we are looking to the future; building on Derbyshire and the wider D2N2 LEP area’s reputation for manufacturing excellence. As part of D2N2’s Nottingham & Derby Enterprise Zone, we are investing heavily in Infinity Park Derby, making it an attractive place for innovative companies to locate to do business. The Nuclear AMRC will give small and medium-sized businesses access to leading technological expertise.”

Nuclear AMRC Midlands is initially based in two workshops and two office suites within iHub. The workshops will act as flexible incubators for new manufacturing technologies, operating at an earlier level of manufacturing readiness than the Nuclear AMRC’s other facilities in Rotherham and Birkenhead, and exploring new technology areas including electrical controls and instrumentation. The facility will also act as a regional base for the centre’s supply chain development programme, allowing the Nuclear AMRC team to work more closely with companies across the UK’s manufacturing heartlands and help them become Fit For Nuclear.

The iHub facility is just the first phase of Nuclear AMRC Midlands. The centre continues to work with Derby City Council, the D2N2 LEP and industrial partners to develop proposals for a bespoke research facility of around 6,000 square metres on Infinity Park. The proposed centre will focus on later-stage development in technology areas which will deliver the maximum impact for the UK’s supply chain.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre helps UK manufacturers win work in the nuclear sector – in civil new build, operations and decommissioning, and in naval power.

The Nuclear AMRC combines academic innovation with industry expertise to help UK manufacturers improve capabilities and performance along the supply chain. Its facilities and services are open to all.

The centre’s engineers and sector specialists work with companies to develop innovative techniques and optimised processes for large-scale high-precision manufacturing. Companies can draw on the centre’s facilities and capabilities to develop and test new processes on production-scale machines without losing capacity in their own factories.

The centre’s core research factory, on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in South Yorkshire, is home to over £35 million worth of state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, many of which are the largest or most advanced available for industrial R&D anywhere in the world. In 2017, the Nuclear AMRC opened a new R&D facility in Birkenhead to focus on modular manufacturing techniques.

The new Nuclear AMRC Midlands includes two workshops to develop new technical capabilities. The larger workshop is a flexible incubator for new manufacturing technologies, focusing on digital manufacturing. It will host a series of reconfigurable manufacturing bays where advanced physical and digital equipment can be configured to meet the needs of industry customers who want to explore and develop new technologies and processes.

The second workshop will develop the centre’s capabilities in new technical areas including controls and instrumentation (C&I) and equipment qualification. Initial projects are being developed in partnership with member company Ultra Electronics.

The Nuclear AMRC also provides a range of supply chain development services to help manufacturers enter the nuclear supply chain and compete worldwide. The flagship Fit For Nuclear (F4N) programme lets companies measure their operations against the standards required to supply the nuclear industry, and take the necessary steps to close any gaps. The Nuclear AMRC is now working with industry partners through the Fit 4 Offshore Renewables and Fit 4 Energy programmes to take the F4N model into other high-value sectors.

The Nuclear AMRC is backed by industry leaders and government, and part of the University of Sheffield. It is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a national alliance of seven leading manufacturing research centres funded by Innovate UK.

For more information, contact Tim Chapman, communications manager:

t.chapman@namrc.co.uk, tel: +44 7872 419671

Visit namrc.co.uk