New partnership to reap the benefits of data in key manufacturing sectors

Proposals are being discussed to create a new research centre in Ayrshire following the formation of a partnership to help “future-proof” key manufacturing industries such as the pharmaceuticals, food and chemicals sectors.

The potential development of the research centre is one of several ambitions following sign-off on a memorandum of understanding by the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), North Ayrshire Council and the UK’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI). The agreement aims to help firms embrace digitalisation and data-driven manufacturing in the drive towards a net-zero economy.

Along with their longer-term ambitions, the partners are immediately launching a series of specialist courses set to take place this autumn. Delivered through the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, these will help companies throughout the UK to improve productivity and profitability by upskilling their processes and workforces.

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Operated by the University of Strathclyde, the NMIS is an industry-led group of R&D, innovation and skills facilities supported by a network of partners across Scotland. The CPI, established in 2004 by UK Government agency ONE NorthEast, supports accelerated development of products and processes from sites across the north-east of England.

“The industries that make up the process manufacturing sector are of crucial importance to the country’s future prosperity, particularly as we tackle the climate emergency and recover from the pandemic,” NMIS chief executive John Reid said.

“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.”

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The new partnership follows a similar agreement in which CPI and Strathclyde are working to improve innovation in pharmaceutical manufacturing. This will lead to the opening early next year of a dedicated facility that will be part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District located next to the NMIS headquarters in Renfrewshire.

Jim McDonald, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said data-driven manufacturing will be “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,” he added.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992