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UK government funds new centres for innovative laser manufacturing

Four new research centres that will develop new ways of manufacturing in the fields of electronics, laser use in production processes, medical devices and food production, have been awarded a total of £21 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) .

David Willetts, minister for universities and science, explained: 'The UK has a proud history of manufacturing but to build on this success industry needs access to the very latest science and technology. This £45 million package of investment will see our world-class research base investigating innovative new manufacturing equipment and techniques. This will support our industrial strategy in a range of important sectors, driving growth and keeping the UK ahead in the global race.'

The new centres, which will begin work later in the year, will involve academics from 15 universities across the UK and over 60 project partners from industry.

EPSRC currently supports 12 centres across a wide range of fields, from additive manufacturing to industrial sustainability to continuous manufacturing and crystallisation. These four new centres bring the total to 16.

The centres are:

  • EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large Area Electronics – led by Dr Chris Rider at the University of Cambridge – starting October 2013. Grant value £5.6 million;
  • EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food – led by Dr Tim Foster at the University of Nottingham – starting September 2013. Grant value £4.5 million;
  • EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Laser-based Production Processes – led by Professor Duncan Hand at Heriot-Watt University – starting October 2013. Grant value £5.6 million; and
  • EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices – led by Professor John Fisher at the University of Leeds – starting October 2013. Grant value £5.7 million.
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