SFC news published since 2018. See SFC archived content for earlier news articles.

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), operated by the University of Strathclyde, has today (21 June 2023) opened its new world-class, flagship facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) in Renfrewshire, aiming to be a major stimulus for the country’s economy, skills development, and prosperous, sustainable, communities.

NMIS is operated by the University of Strathclyde and supported by the Scottish Government, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Highlands and Island Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.

Since 2019, NMIS has helped deliver more than 150 research and development projects for 142 different customers and partners. It has already upskilled and reskilled more than 1,300 people, placed more than 80 graduate trainees in Scottish manufacturing, and supported more than 100 internships.

Scotland’s manufacturing sector employs over 179,000 people and is responsible for more than 50% of the country’s international exports and 47% of business expenditure on R&D.

The new facility will be home to the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, fully connected Digital Factory, and publicly accessible collaboration hub. The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC) – which is also part of the NMIS group – will relocate from its current base in Renfrewshire, splitting its operations between the new building and NMIS’s founding centre the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

The factory demonstrates the vast potential of digital technologies in helping manufacturers improve their products and processes in the drive towards a net-zero economy while still increasing productivity.

The building was opened by Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf at a ceremony this morning alongside NMIS CEO Chris Courtney; Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Chair of the NMIS Board and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde; Katherine Bennett, CEO of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult; and Adrian Gillespie, CEO of Scottish Enterprise, along with senior delegates from across industry, academia, and the public sector.

Helen Cross, SFC’s Director of Research and Innovation said,

“NMIS is an incredible resource that Scotland’s universities can use to continue to build on Scotland’s outstanding reputation for research and innovation. This facility will help projects embrace new technologies and achieve net-zero targets through innovation and collaboration at every stage.

“SFC is proud to support NMIS and partners to succeed and drive the future of manufacturing through innovation, research and development.”

First Minister, Humza Yousaf said,

“Scotland is one of the most innovative nations in the world. By bringing together research, industry and the public sector, this facility will allow companies of all sizes to embrace creative manufacturing techniques and support cutting edge research. Manufacturing is critical to our long-term economic recovery and this centre, which the Scottish Government provided funding of £75 million towards, will support that.”

Chris Courtney, CEO of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) said,

“Scotland has a strong manufacturing sector – supporting world-renowned capabilities in the maritime industry, renewable energies, food and drink, the satellites and space industry and many others. We also benefit from world-leading universities and a growing number of ambitious technology entrepreneurs.

“NMIS can play a crucial role in harnessing this potential to impact what we make and how we can do it more sustainably and efficiently. 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.”