The announcement is a green light from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for the consortium behind the Centre for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CeSAM) to bid for a potential £33m in Strength in Places funding. This follows the successful submission of an expression of interest by the University of Sunderland, on behalf of the consortium.UKRI has also awarded £50,000 seed funding, which will be used to further develop the CeSAM business case, for submission to UKRI in September 2019.
CeSAM will provide the catalyst for manufacturing productivity improvement across the North East. This will be through world class open innovation, adoption and knowledge transfer. It is one of 24 ambitious projects to receive early-stage funding to develop full-stage bids that could lead to significant economic growth in locations across the country. It will be working across multiple markets such as automotive and transport, energy, aerospace, healthcare, food and drink, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure and construction.
The consortium behind the plans includes the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) and key industry partners, Sunderland City Council, the University of Sunderland and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Welcoming the award, Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, on behalf of the consortium said: "We're delighted the partnership behind CeSAM has been successful getting through to the second round of funding for this pioneering project.
"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.
"The partners involved in the project have put a lot of hard work into developing it to this point. As a partnership, all our efforts are now focused on doing everything needed to move successfully to the next stage with UKRI – bringing in key industry and academic partners - to deliver this world class open innovation centre on IAMP."
A planning application was submitted for the building that will house CeSAM earlier this month. It will occupy a 126,279 sq ft site on IAMP - a 150-hectare ‘nationally significant’ hub, that is being delivered in a joint venture between Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council, with Henry Boot Developments (HBD) appointed as delivery partner.
Paul Butler, Chief Executive of the NEAA, added: "CeSAM would ensure manufacturing businesses in the region are at the forefront of manufacturing technology and processes. This is a fantastic opportunity for us as a partnership to strengthen the competitiveness of our sector and the region."