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20 September 2012 | PR 12/169

Minister addresses manufacturing research conference

David Willetts

David Willetts

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, visited Loughborough University yesterday (19 September) to take part in a major conference on manufacturing research.

The two-day Manufacturing the Future conference is being hosted by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine and Loughborough University, and is being attended by academics and industry leaders in manufacturing from across the UK.

The conference, the first of its kind, will enable the delegates to exchange best practice and details of work in progress across a range of manufacturing research areas, including precision manufacturing, materials processing and emerging manufacturing systems. There will also be discussion on future manufacturing challenges, the economics of manufacturing and improving the performance of established industries.

During his visit to the conference, the Minister took part in a round-table discussion on manufacturing research and announced the establishment of five new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), which are to be funded by grants totalling £14.1 million and based across the UK.

Professor Myra Nimmo, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at Loughborough University, said:  “We were delighted to host the Minister at this major conference here in Loughborough.  Research taking place in universities today will be vital to ensuring manufacturing success in years to come and it is important that we share developments and innovations as much as possible.”

The conference is taking place at the Holywell Park Conference Centre, Sir Denis Rooke Building on the Loughborough University Campus. 

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Richard Tibenham
Media Relations Manager
EPSRC Press Office
T: 01793 444 404
E: pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

The new CDTS are as follows:

  • Centre for Doctoral Training in the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies at UCL – Which will focus on the most rapidly developing parts of the UK bio-centred pharmaceutical and healthcare biotechnology sector with major implications for future medicine. It will train the bioprocess engineering leaders of the future to support the translation of new scientific advances into safely produced, more selective, therapies for currently intractable conditions.
  • Doctoral Training Centre in the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation at University of Strathclyde – Will tackle core issues in the manufacture of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals  that will contribute to bringing new products more quickly to market, using more reliable, energy-efficient and profitable manufacturing routes. It will create a national community of highly skilled researchers in continuous manufacturing and crystallisation, The CDT will work with industry partners and seven universities to train three cohorts of PhD students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to help meet the challenges of continuous manufacturing.
  • Cambridge & Cranfield Doctoral Training Centre in Ultra Precision – Will focus on the demand for large-scale, ultra precision, complex components by many of the emerging sectors and next generation products such as intelligent packaging and low cost photovoltaics. It will continue collaborations with SMEs which are seen as key components in the fields that require precision engineers.
  • Industrial Doctorate Centre in Composites Manufacture – Will focus on the specialist discipline of polymer composites manufacturing relevant to the aerospace, automotive, marine, wind energy and construction industries filling an existing gap in provision of industrially focussed higher level education in the UK. It will have its centre of gravity in Bristol, with the new National Composites Centre (NCC) the natural home-base for the cohort of composites manufacturing Research Engineers, embedded in the composites manufacturing industry.
  • Centre Of Advanced Training for Engineering Doctorates (COATED) – Will be hosted from the EPSRC and TSB funded Innovation Knowledge Centre (IKC) at Swansea University and will build on the initial momentum of this IKC with a focus on support  for three entries of seven EngD students onto a new EngD programme based entirely on functional coatings. A key new development will be the engagement with Oxford, Bath and Imperial at EngD level as this will bring cluster activity within those institutions.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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