The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has opened a new facility to help further enhance the region’s thriving manufacture sector, which employs more than 179,000 people and accounts for more than 50% of the country’s international exports and 47% of business expenditure on R&D.
The 11,500m2 operationally carbon neutral campus will be situated in Renfrewshirenear Glasgow Airport and will support manufacturing, engineering and associated technology businesses of all sizes. In this council area of Scotland, approximately 8,000 people work in manufacturing roles, contributing more than £770mn into the economy.
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The new facility, which was opened by Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yosaf, will be home to the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, a fully connected digital factory (see video) and publicly accessible collaboration hub. The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC) – which is also part of the NMIS group and is focused on building the next generation of sustainable materials and processes – will relocate from Renfrewshire and divide its operations between the new building and NMIS’s founding centre the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).
The facility was built by Morrison Construction, part of the Galliford Try Group, and designed by Glasgow-based HLM Architects. It features a range of low-carbon solutions, including a large-scale rooftop solar array for electricity generation, access to a low-carbon district heating network and a rainwater harvesting system.
Commenting on the opening, the Scottish First Minister described it as an “exciting moment” that “will ensure that Scotland’s long history of innovation and engineering continues”.
Since 2019, NMIS has helped deliver more than 150 research and development projects for 142 different customers and partners. It has also upskilled and reskilled more than 1,300 people, placed more than 80 graduate trainees in Scottish manufacturing, and supported more than 100 internships.
"There is a real industrial demand for greener, innovative technology solutions that harness the power of digitalisation, along with the future skills that we all need to thrive,” added Chris Courtney, CEO of the NMIS. “We will work with our industry partners, talented team and the wider ecosystem to deliver this brighter manufacturing future."
Meanwhile, Scottish food and drink firms have received a share of a £75k fund to support the development of healthier products.