Four years of research has gone into the development, with its centrepiece - a technology demonstration centre - providing a working showcase of leading edge manufacturing technology in partnership with over 30 global providers. Companies can view the very latest technology, understand its capabilities, and then, if appropriate, receive specialist support to implement it. The centre also includes an advanced training facility to assist in teaching the new technical skills required by industry. "Innovation, design and new technology are areas where the UK is very strong. centres like this are invaluable to taking this country forward and I am seriously impressed with what I've seen here … this is the future," Sir Digby said. Northern Technologies Business Development Director Steve Wilkinson said that a major strength of the development will be its ability to effectively support manufacturers and drive them into thinking differently about the future: “The centre addresses the three major manufacturing issues head on … skills, new product development and technology exploitation.” Partners in the project include: Hardinge-Bridgeport, Renishaw, Hexagon Metrology, Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Faro UK, REM Systems, Roemheld, Vero, GE Fanuc, Heidenhain, Technifior, Seco Tools, Nikken Kosakusho UK and Mitsubishi Carbide.