New £24m food research facility opens doors

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

The new research centre at Nottingham University will have a focus on food
The new research centre at Nottingham University will have a focus on food
A £24m research facility with a focus on the food industry has opened at the University of Nottingham.

The Advanced Manufacturing Building (AMB) is home to the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IfAM), which has 8,918m2​ of world-class research and teaching facilities for design, manufacturing, assembly and metrology, measurement, testing and modelling.

With a total research portfolio of £80m, scientific research takes place in key sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, food, biomedical, energy generation, chemical products and digital manufacturing.

Professor Svetan Ratchev, director of IfAM, described the AMB as one of the largest manufacturing, engineering, teaching and research facilities in the UK, housing some 400 staff, students and researchers.

Skills challenges

“Skills challenges remain a key issue for many manufacturing businesses in the UK, due to factors such as the fast pace of technology development, an ageing workforce and a shortage of graduates with relevant multidisciplinary skills and experience,” ​said Ratchev.

“The Institute is helping to shape the manufacturing research agenda nationally and internationally and is supplying the technology and specialist skills to support key industrial sectors and encourage the growth of emerging industries.”

The University collaborates with many of the world’s leading companies, including Airbus, BAE Systems, BMW, Bentley Motors, Cummins, GSK, HP Enterprise, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover, Laing O’Rourke, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Rolls-Royce and Siemens.

The Institute also specialises in helping industry to produce the products of the future, ranging from highly complexity, customised future aircraft and cars to artisan or allergen-free lines for big-name food brands and personalised medicine formulations for the pharmaceutical industry.

‘The start of something truly special’

Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK, who officially opened the facility, said: “This new facility heralds the start of something truly special for Nottingham, and will help place the region and indeed the country at the cutting edge of digital manufacturing.

​Why is this important? It’s important because our future lies in driving a new technological revolution focusing on AI, automation, robotics and 3D printing, as well as many other new exciting technologies. It will ensure graduates are at the cutting edge and ready to take up the high productivity, high-wage jobs of the future.”

Designed by Bond Bryan Architects and built by J. Tomlinson, the Advanced Manufacturing Building received £5m funding from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, the private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary organisations, which promotes economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. 

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