The Nuclear AMRC has constantly grown and developed since its inception.
In July 2009, the UK government’s Low Carbon Industrial Strategy gave a commitment to “establish a Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre that combines the knowledge, practices and expertise of manufacturing companies with the capability of universities”.
Following bids from some of the UK’s leading universities to develop the centre, it was announced in December 2009 that the Nuclear AMRC would be led by the University of Sheffield and The University of Manchester, with Rolls-Royce as lead industrial partner. Other founding partners were Areva, Westinghouse, Sheffield Forgemasters and Tata Steel.
The establishment of the Nuclear AMRC was supported by a £15 million grant from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (now replaced by BEIS) and £7 million from the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward (now defunct). The European Regional Development Fund also supported the development of the centre’s permanent home on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), South Yorkshire.
BIS and the Northwest Development Agency (also defunct) invested a further £8 million to expand the manufacturing research laboratories at The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute.
In March 2011, the Nuclear AMRC became part of the first of a new generation of government-backed Technology Innovation Centres, later branded as the Catapult network. The High Value Manufacturing Catapult is now a thriving alliance of seven leading manufacturing R&D centres backed by Innovate UK. Another eight Catapults are addressing other key technology areas.
The Nuclear AMRC took possession of its facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in October 2011, with an official launch in May 2012.
Since our launch, we have developed and consolidated our position at the heart of the UK’s civil nuclear manufacturing industry. We have opened additional R&D facilities in Birkenhead and Derby to expand our capabilities into other technology areas of vital importance to the UK nuclear industry.
We have worked with around 1,000 businesses, including many SMEs, to help them to become more competitive. And we have extended our capabilities from our core civil nuclear market, to help companies solve their manufacturing problems across the energy sector and in other quality-critical industries.