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New network boost for north-east manufacturing companies

By Alan Beresford

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A NEW capability network is aiming to help businesses across the north-east access support and unlock innovation.

A new network is set to benefit north-east manufacturing businesses.
A new network is set to benefit north-east manufacturing businesses.

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has announced the formation of the network that brings together leading Scottish research and innovation, education, and training providers to help unlock manufacturing innovation and drive growth in the sector.

Spanning the length and breadth of Scotland, the network is led by NMIS and includes Aberdeen-based SeedPod, the north-east’s go-to hub for food and drink industry growth, as a lead partner. Other partners include Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and Censis, a centre of excellence for sensor and imaging systems and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

The network will offer an easy means for manufacturing companies that work with individual partner organisations, to tap into the vast expertise across the entire network. Companies will also be able to access the capability partners’ own networks including the renowned High Value Manufacturing Catapult through NMIS.

Providing an open channel to share knowledge, capability, and ideas, the network is accessible to all organisations across the country that can contribute to creating a sustainable and vibrant future for the Scottish manufacturing and engineering community.

Expanding upon the ability of NMIS to address national and global manufacturing challenges and support the goal of making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing, the announcement comes at a critical time as manufacturers across Scotland are recovering from the impact of Covid-19.

John Reid, NMIS CEO, said: "The NMIS Capability Network makes it easier for companies in the manufacturing and engineering community to tap into and benefit from world-class expertise and capability.

“This is a crucial moment in time as manufacturers seek to navigate complex situations such as the climate emergency and post pandemic recovery. Now is a time to refocus, embrace innovation and seize the opportunities that so often emerge from challenging times.

"Sitting at the cutting edge of manufacturing innovation, the network partners each have a fundamental part to play in developing tomorrow's manufacturing workforce, improving productivity, and helping companies, and people, in our community prosper."

Business Minister for Scottish Government, Ivan McKee, added: “As we begin to make our way out of the Covid-19 pandemic and look to rebuild and grow Scotland’s economy, a vibrant and diverse manufacturing sector has never been more critical to long-term recovery and success.

“Our £75 million investment in NMIS continues to deliver strong outcomes even during the challenging times we are facing now, from supporting the initial response to the pandemic to playing a key role in developing and delivering our Manufacturing Recovery Plan.

“We must utilise the experience, expertise and ingenuity of all of Scotland’s manufacturing industry to create the best conditions for the sector to thrive.

“The network is an essential part of our support across industry, academia and the public sector working to deliver greater, greener and fairer prosperity for manufacturers across all of Scotland.”

Patrick Machray OBE, chair of Food Hub (NES) Limited and vice-chair of Opportunity North East, said:

“Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, turns over £2.2 billion in north-east Scotland every year and already provides more than 22,000 jobs in the region. The sector’s growth is critical to our economic future – in the region and nationwide – as it can deliver new and higher-value jobs, increase exports of premium products to high-margin markets and play a leading role in the drive towards a low-carbon economy.

“The strategic partnership with NMIS will support SeedPod’s high-value manufacturing and low-carbon food production offer to food and drink producers that will be so important to catalysing industry growth, increasing productivity and delivering new, higher-skill jobs. We look forward to working with the team at NMIS to make this happen."

The NMIS Capability Network includes Censis, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, Energy Skills Partnership, Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, the Scottish Institute for Remanufacturing, Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering, SeedPod, and Tay Cities Engineering Partnership.

To find out more about the NMIS capability network or to enquire about joining visit https://www.nmis.scot/capability-network/

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