The National Metals Technology Centre (NAMTEC) has joined the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to better promote innovation and competitiveness among UK manufacturers.
As of 1 August 2012, NAMTEC has become a core part of the AMRC group alongside the AMRC with Boeing and Nuclear AMRC. The established NAMTEC team now operates from the AMRC campus at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Catcliffe, Rotherham.
The move will provide significant benefits. The combination of NAMTEC's supply chain support programmes with the AMRC's research capabilities and high-level industrial collaborations will provide a stronger and broader base to share innovative technologies and increase competitiveness across the UK manufacturing community.
NAMTEC has supported the manufacturing supply chain since 2002, delivering an extensive range of training and consultancy programmes to a base of 20,000 manufacturing companies. A closer relationship with the AMRC's world-class research facilities and findings will allow it to cascade innovative technologies and ways of working through the supply chain. The opportunities for NAMTEC within the AMRC setting are outstanding. Initial plans include extending its core training and consultancy programmes, developing a new hub for metals and materials research, and expanding the membership offer.
The University of Sheffield has forged strong links with many of the world's largest and most innovative manufacturers, most notably with the launch of the AMRC with Boeing in 2001. Since then the AMRC group has gone from strength to strength, building on the success of the AMRC and new Nuclear AMRC in a range of exciting new ventures and consolidating the University's position as a global leader of engineering excellence. The integration of NAMTEC will support the AMRC's aims to strengthen technology transfer and competitive advantage along the manufacturing supply chain, particularly among the UK's base of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Professor Keith Ridgway, co-founder of the AMRC, said,
"We are delighted to welcome NAMTEC into the AMRC. The nation-wide contribution of NAMTEC to developing SMEs, outstanding training and technology transfer is well known and perfectly complements our existing work with manufacturing companies. Bringing those strengths into the AMRC matches our ambitions to continue to transform our economy through a true collaboration between world-class research and manufacturing industry."
Dr Alan McLelland, CEO of NAMTEC said,
"This is a unique opportunity for both organisations which will directly benefit the UK manufacturing supply chain. The AMRC is at the forefront of manufacturing developments, driving forward manufacturing technologies which can provide the UK, including the SME supply chain, with significant commercial advantage in a global marketplace. NAMTEC, with an unrivalled access to this supply chain, provides a fantastic conduit to flow these developments into our manufacturing companies, encouraging growth and helping lead the UK manufacturing renaissance."
The supply chain development programmes of NAMTEC and the existing AMRC research centres will be combined to significantly improve the offering to both full and community member companies. A merged Manufacturing Forum will provide members with high quality intelligence on technology and markets to facilitate investment, growth and diversification and in turn improve competitiveness. The events programme will be underpinned with a range of publications including technical and market reports. NAMTEC's established reputation as a deliverer of technology transfer programmes will also strengthen the portfolio of the AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) which was opened by HRH The Duke of York in May 2012.