The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) and SeedPod have announced a strategic partnership as part of the formation of a new network that brings together leading Scottish research and innovation, education, and training providers to help unlock manufacturing innovation and drive growth in the sector across the country.
Spanning the length and breadth of Scotland, the network is led
by NMIS and includes Aberdeen-based SeedPod, which will be the north east’s go-to hub for
food and drink industry growth, as a lead partner. Other partners include Construction
Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and CENSIS.
The network will offer an easy means for manufacturing companies that work with individual partner organisations, to tap into the vast expertise across the entire network. Companies will also be able to access the capability partners’ own networks including the renowned High Value Manufacturing Catapult through NMIS.
Providing an open channel to share knowledge, capability, and ideas, the network is accessible to all organisations across the country that can contribute to creating a sustainable and vibrant future for the Scottish manufacturing and engineering community.
Expanding upon the ability of NMIS to address national and global manufacturing challenges and support the goal of making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing, the announcement comes at a critical time as manufacturers across Scotland are recovering from the impact of COVID-19.
SeedPod, led by Opportunity North East, will be the go-to hub for food and drink industry growth. The £21 million project – backed by the Aberdeen City Region Deal and funders the UK Government, Scottish Government and Opportunity North East – will deliver industry’s regional and national growth ambitions. It will inspire market-led innovation in products, manufacturing, processing and packaging and support skills and people development across the supply chain. It will also provide specialist facilities for high-growth new businesses to nurture their development. Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) is a strategic partner in the project and SeedPod will be built on its Craibstone campus outside Aberdeen.
Patrick Machray OBE, chair of Food Hub (NES) Limited and vice-chair of Opportunity North East, said: “Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, turns over £2.2 billion in north east Scotland every year and already provides more than 22,000 jobs in the region. The sector’s growth is critical to our economic future – in the region and nationwide – as it can deliver new and higher-value jobs, increase exports of premium products to high-margin markets and play a leading role in the drive towards a low-carbon economy.
“The strategic partnership with NMIS will support SeedPod’s high-value manufacturing and low-carbon food production offer to food and drink producers that will be so important to catalysing industry growth, increasing productivity and delivering new, higher-skill jobs. We look forward to working with the team at NMIS to make this happen."
The NMIS Capability Network includes CENSIS, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, Energy Skills Partnership, Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, the Scottish Institute for Remanufacturing, Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering, SeedPod, and Tay Cities Engineering Partnership.
To find out more about the NMIS capability network or to enquire about joining visit NMIS Capability Network | National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).
North east Scotland is a leader in advanced manufacturing in the food and drink industry, including in its £700 million seafood processing sector.
John Reid, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland CEO said: "The NMIS Capability Network makes it easier for companies in the Aberdeenshire manufacturing and engineering community to tap into and benefit from world-class expertise and capability.
“This is a crucial moment in time as manufacturers seek to navigate complex situations such as the climate emergency and post pandemic recovery. Now is a time to refocus, embrace innovation and seize the opportunities that so often emerge from challenging times.
"Sitting at the cutting edge of manufacturing innovation, the network partners each have a fundamental part to play in developing tomorrow's manufacturing workforce, improving productivity, and helping companies, and people, in our community prosper."
Business Minister for Scottish Government, Ivan McKee said: “As we begin to make our way out of the Covid-19 pandemic and look to rebuild and grow Scotland’s economy, a vibrant and diverse manufacturing sector has never been more critical to long-term recovery and success.
“Our £75m investment in NMIS continues to deliver strong outcomes even during the challenging times we are facing now - from supporting the initial response to the pandemic to playing a key role in developing and delivering our Manufacturing Recovery Plan.
“We must utilise the experience, expertise and ingenuity of all of Scotland’s manufacturing industry to create the best conditions for the sector to thrive.
“The network is an essential part of our support across industry, academia and the public sector working to deliver greater, greener and fairer prosperity for manufacturers across all of Scotland.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The University of Strathclyde is committed to applying its research, expertise and sector-leading approach to partnership working with business, industry and government to help Scotland recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Manufacturing will play a central role in that recovery and through our participation in this new capability network we look forward to helping companies across Scotland to innovate, develop their workforces and to drive economic growth.”
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