£65m investment in innovation
Airport base chosen for National Manufacturing Institute
Nicola Sturgeon: ‘making Scotland a global leader (photo by Terry Murden)
Renfrewshire will be the location of £65 million centre which aims to build Scotland’s reputation as a leader in manufacturing innovation.
The National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) is a government-backed initiative, announced in February last year, and will partner with Strathclyde University.
Work to build the centre at Inchinnan, next to Glasgow International Airport and the M8, will begin next year.
The Scottish Government is investing £48 million with £8 million coming from the University of Strathclyde.
This is in addition to the £8.9m announced in June for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre as a first step. Renfrewshire Council will provide a further £39.1m through the Glasgow City Region Deal to support wider infrastructure work at the site.
Manufacturing employs more than 180,000 people in Scotland and remains a major exporter.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Economy Secretary Keith Brown made the announcement during a visit to Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing facility at Inchinnan. Rolls-Royce is a founding member of the University of Strathclyde’s existing Advanced Forming Research Centre.
Speaking after a meeting with some of Scotland’s leading manufacturing companies, the First Minister said: “This exciting facility will be an industry-led international centre of manufacturing expertise.
“Research, industry and the public sector will work together to transform skills, productivity and innovation, attracting investment and making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.”
Mr Brown added: “Manufacturing is a key industry, already accounting for 52 % of Scotland’s international exports, and nearly £600m of Scotland’s spend on business research and development.
“Our investment in NMIS builds on our support for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre and will support that and our ambitious target of doubling business expenditure on research and development by 2025.
“This centre will not only see us continue to reach out worldwide, but also see the rest of the world turning to Scotland for innovation and expertise.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter for Scottish manufacturing, building on a great tradition of innovation.”
He said the new institute will attract inward investment to Scotland, stimulate the creation of jobs and help companies compete globally.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Renfrewshire has long been renowned for its manufacturing expertise and innovation, not least in giving Paisley Pattern to the world, and I am excited about the prospect of helping to play our part in making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.”