A platform for future UK prosperity – By contributing to a healthy, connected, resilient, productive nation
EPSRC’s vision is to deliver a sustainable, resilient and prosperous UK by investing in world-leading research and skills. We support new ideas and transformative technologies with the potential to transform our economy, environment and society for the better.
In partnership and co-investing with industry, we work to deliver both national and global priorities, co-ordinating the objectives under the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strategy and UK government strategies including the Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap, Innovation Strategy, Plan for Growth, R&D People and Culture Strategy, Integrated Review, and Levelling Up.
The 13 Manufacturing Hubs highlighted in this publication are a key part of realising EPSRC’s vision and are an exemplar of bringing expertise from diverse areas of manufacturing research to collaborate with industry to tackle challenges across a wide range of manufacturing sectors. These major investments contribute to enhancing excellence and maintaining capabilities in manufacturing research as well as making sure the UK has the skills to exploit the new technologies of the future.
The Hubs have attracted significant leverage from industry with investment over the lifetime of the award typically higher than that initially invested by EPSRC. This is testament to the importance that UK industry places on these investments and ensures they are best placed to co-create and co-deliver with industry centre stage to discover research solutions that can be maximally exploited to the benefit of the UK.
The diverse range of sectors supported (from biomanufacturing to photonics) shows the breadth and strength of the UK research base in manufacturing, the support of which is essential if UK industry is to continue to innovate and grow while also enabling the UK to transition to a sustainable future.
EPSRC has a proud history of supporting manufacturing research in the UK having invested in the first Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres (IMRCs) in 2001 followed by the Centres for Innovative Manufacturing (CIMs) from 2005 and, since 2015, the Future Manufacturing Hubs. These investments have had an impact on business well beyond the initial research investment generating impact, such as cost savings worth tens of million in the manufacturing process or generating hundreds of millions in new product sales.
To continue its support for UK manufacturing and to deliver against its vision, EPSRC will be funding two new Manufacturing Research Hubs for a Sustainable Future in 2023. These will deliver a programme of innovative research in the engineering and physical sciences related to the challenges in commercialising early-stage research and manufacturing. These Hubs will be leaders within the landscape, driving forward the national manufacturing research agenda in their area and connecting with other players in the community, including users, policymakers and other public investments (for example, Catapults, other hubs and EPSRC investments). This opportunity is intended to be the first in a series of planned opportunities for manufacturing research hubs for a sustainable future over the coming years.
In the autumn, EPSRC will be publishing its Strategic Delivery where it will outline its broader ambitions in manufacturing research, its support for developing skills in engineering and physical sciences and its commitment to work with business to generate prosperity for the UK.
“The 13 Manufacturing Hubs highlighted in this publication are a key part of realising EPSRC’s vision and are an exemplar of bringing expertise from diverse areas of manufacturing research to collaborate with industry to tackle challenges across a wide range of manufacturing sectors”