The University of Sheffield has become a Northern Powerhouse partner in a bdi to cement its commitment to supporting economic growth in the north.
The announcement follows a visit this week by Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry to the University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).
The University – which has 29,000 students and 7,000 staff – joins a wide-ranging group of northern organisations that have pledged to join forces with the Government to help the north achieve its full potential and attract new jobs and investment to the region.
The Northern Powerhouse Partnership agreement was signed as Mr Berry visited the University of Sheffield’s AMRC, which carries out world-leading research into advanced machining, manufacturing and materials and has more than 100 industrial partners, ranging from global giants like Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Airbus to small companies.
More than 1,000 young people, employed by 250 small and medium sized companies across the Sheffield City Region, have been trained at the centre, and a sister organisation is now planned at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
Mr Berry, a University of Sheffield alumnus, was taken on a tour of the AMRC’s Factory of the Future, Factory 2050 and its Training Centre during his visit.
He said: “I was delighted to visit my alma mater, the University of Sheffield, including its state-of-the-art AMRC Training Centre which is helping to train the next generation of engineers and manufacturers in the Northern Powerhouse.
“The University of Sheffield is at the forefront of higher education in the UK and joins a number of British universities commanding high positions in global rankings – they contribute enormously to the international standing of the Northern Powerhouse and its reputation as a world-leader in research and academic excellence.”
As part of his tour, Mr Berry learnt how a team at the AMRC is working with Yorkshire Water on the use of virtual reality within the design and prototyping phase of new pumping stations. The technology will enable Yorkshire Water – and other water companies – to significantly reduce the time and the cost of producing new facilities. It will also help improve technical training and health and safety.
Professor Sir Keith Burnett, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “As the cradle of the first industrial revolution, the north of England sent new products to the world. Now we need the infrastructure, research, innovation and skills which will enable us to lead in the era of Industry 4.0.
“This means new approaches to bringing together world-class research and teaching with global companies and their supply chains, creating new products and reshoring production. This is an area where the University of Sheffield is leading the way, working with Boeing, McLaren, Siemens and Rolls-Royce to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality.””