The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will be asked to approve a grant from its Strategic Investment Fund for £15m next week, to enable research and technology organisation The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) to expand its facilities and create more than 40 highly skilled jobs.

Having recently moved to the Liverpool Science Park, the MTC provides a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, working with the automotive, aerospace, construction, defence, rail, informatics, fast-moving consumer goods and electronics sectors.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor, said:

“The Liverpool City Region is already a hotbed of advanced manufacturing activity and we are leading the way, nationally and internationally.

“The funding will have the twin benefits of delivering solutions for established industries whilst also providing a space in which innovative and responsive SMEs can develop.  Being able to support facilities like this, which will drive the city region’s economic fortunes, is one of the main reasons we are so keen to take more decisions locally.”

The proposed investment would enable the MTC to develop an open access Digital Manufacturing Accelerator that will comprise two assets – a ‘Rapidly Reconfigurable Factory Environment’ – a digitally enabled Factory in a Box test bed at MTC’s recently opened centre in the Knowledge Quarter and a ‘Digital Factory Environment’ at STFC Daresbury in Halton. These facilities allow companies to test and develop their manufacturing process and systems and use digital technology to enable them to become more productive and successful.

The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK, and was established to prove innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile environment in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions.

Housing some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world, and with facilities in Coventry and the Liverpool City Region, the MTC provides a high-quality environment for the development and demonstration of new technologies on an industrial scale, supporting skills, productivity and growth across the UK manufacturing industry.

Cllr Pat Hackett, Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Economy and Third Sector, said:

“Enabling the MTC to expand its facilities will generate employment and training opportunities, attract and retain highly skilled professionals and support manufacturing growth and innovation in our city region.”

Neil Rawlinson, Strategic Development Director at the MTC, said:

At the MTC, we believe our purpose is to have a positive impact on society. We know we can do that by working in partnership with the Liverpool City Region innovation community. We are excited to be expanding our facilities and services in the Liverpool region, working with our partners and regional stakeholders to help manufacturers in the North West region stay competitive, improve product development and benefit from new manufacturing and digital technologies.”

Charlie Whitford, Associate Director for Strategic Development, said:

“This project is a unique opportunity to upskill and connect regional technology providers and supply chain, providing the ecosystem required to rapidly commercialise product research and development. We are also excited to be providing the region’s industrial base with a reduced risk, cost effective environment to test and incorporate manufacturing platforms of the future, opening new global market opportunities.”

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