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University backed bid for £33million to lead way in manufacturing innovation

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Published on 21 March 2019

The new £400m International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP)
The new £400m International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP)

A bid to unlock a potential £33million in funding, creating new jobs and establishing the region as a UK leader in manufacturing innovation is underway.

UK Research and Innovation has awarded £50k to the consortium of partners behind the Centre for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing. The seed funding will be used to develop a full business case for up to £33million from the Strength in Places fund. 

The plans would see the Centre for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CeSAM) established at the heart of the new £400m International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).

The Centre for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CESAM) is one of 24 ambitious projects to receive early-stage funding to develop full-stage bids that could lead to significant economic growth in places across the country.


A proposal for Strength in Places funding was submitted by the University of Sunderland on behalf of the consortium, which includes the North East Automotive Alliance members and Sunderland City Council.

Steve Knight, Chief Operating Officer at the University of Sunderland, said: “This is great news for CeSAM and for the city. Having led the initial bid on behalf of the consortium the University will continue to offer its support with developing the full business case for Strength in Places Funding, ready for submission to UK Research and Innovation in September.

“CeSAM will enhance the region's capacity to innovate, which in turn will have a direct economic impact. We want to get the best possible deal for the North East.”

Welcoming the award, Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, on behalf of the consortium said: "CeSAM is a critical component of the North East's plans to create more and better jobs through innovation-led growth in smart and sustainable advanced manufacturing.”

Q&A – CeSAM project explained.


What happens now?

The CESAM consortium has created a Steering Group, chaired by Sunderland City Council’s Chief Executive, Patrick Malia. This consortium will work with other businesses and organisations across the north east to agree the scope of CESAM, the projects it will deliver and how it can best support growth in jobs and investment in the region’s advanced manufacturing sector.


What is the Strength in Places Fund?

The Strength in Places Fund will target innovation and investment in research and development (R&D) at a specific place. Investment in R&D is lower in the North East than in other areas.

Announced in the modern Industrial Strategy in November 2017, the Strength in Places Fund will benefit all nations and regions of the UK by allowing and helping them to tap into the world-class research and innovation capability that is spread right across the country.

The fund brings together research organisations, businesses, and local leadership on projects that will deliver significant economic impact, high-value job creation and regional growth.


What is CeSAM?

The Centre for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CeSAM) will work with companies, their suppliers and customers to develop, test and prove digital manufacturing technologies on full-scale, moving production lines. The centre will tackle the difficulties associated with introducing digital and manufacturing innovations across multiple markets and their supply chains. There is no similar facility in the UK.

Initially focusing on four key areas: sustainability; additive manufacturing; robotics and artificial intelligence; and digital manufacturing, CeSAM will address an unmet industry need for support with emerging technologies across multiple markets, including:

  • automotive and transport
  •  energy
  • aerospace
  • healthcare,
  • food and drink
  • pharmaceuticals
  •  infrastructure and construction.