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The IeMRC is one of the Manufacturing Research Centres set up and supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), focusing on the electronics manufacturing sector.
With more than £16 million funding over 10 years, the IeMRC is distributed among a number of universities and has a ‘hub’ at Loughborough, UK. Other UK universities involved in the operation of the Centre include Bath, Brunel, Greenwich, Lancaster, Nottingham and Heriot Watt.
Compared with other centres established with EPSRC support, the IeMRC differs in being a distributed operation rather than having a fixed location for its research activities. Universities across the UK will be able to bid for funds from the Centre, so encouraging open collaboration between groups. The advantage of a distributed programme, compared with a single centre, is that it allows the most appropriate people to do the work for an industry that has now become very diverse.
Key elements of the IeMRC are the high level of industrial involvement and strong industrial steering group that decides priorities for funding. As with the other manufacturing research centres, the contribution from industry in resources and cash will at least match the EPSRC funds.