New partnership set to future proof process manufacturing in Scotland

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​The University of Strathclyde, the operator of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), has today announced that it’s forming a partnership with North Ayrshire Council and CPI to help future proof key process manufacturing industries, such as pharmaceuticals, food and drink and chemical products. The partnership will help firms embrace digitalisation and data-driven manufacturing in the drive towards a net-zero economy.

After signing a memorandum of understanding, the organisations stated that the first action deriving from the partnership will be to give the process manufacturing community, across the UK, the opportunity to upskill through a series of specialist courses set to take place in autumn delivered through the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy.

With big ambitions for the future, the partners are working together on proposals to further support the sector in their journey towards digital transformation. These proposals include the potential development of a dedicated research centre in the Ayrshire area, home to GSK, DSM, Booth Welsh and Merck Group.

The partnership brings together two of the seven High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres, Scottish Government supported NMIS in Renfrewshire and CPI, which has facilities across the North East of England, to further bolster the support for manufacturing in Scotland, the wider UK and beyond.

Today’s announcement follows on from the success of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, a collaboration between government, industry and academia, which sees CPI and Strathclyde work together to ensure the UK is a technology and innovation leader in pharmaceutical manufacturing. This new facility is set to open in Renfrewshire in early 2022, next to the new NMIS HQ facility, as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Digitalisation and data-driven manufacturing sit at the heart of Industry 4.0.

“This new partnership with North Ayrshire Council, CPI and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland will help equip companies and employees to develop the skills they need to fully capitalise on these new complex developments in manufacturing and reap the productivity and economic benefits they can bring.”

John Reid, CEO of the NMIS said: “The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland is transforming manufacturing across Scotland, the UK and beyond. The industries that make up the process manufacturing sector are of crucial importance to the country’s future economic prosperity, particularly as we tackle the climate emergency and recover from the pandemic.

“This partnership is the basis for ensuring that the companies within these industries have readily available support to help them reap the benefits of data-driven manufacturing such as an increase in productivity and reduction in waste and carbon.

“Starting with offering courses through our Manufacturing Skills Academy, we are aiming to build a solid foundation to help future proof these key industries.”