UK centre set to explore continuous manufacturing

A new EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing will see researchers and academics work together to develop new continuous manufacturing approaches for products such as medicines, foodstuffs, dyes, pigments and nanomaterials, as an alternative to traditional batch methods.

Led by Strathclyde University’s Prof Alastair Florence, research at the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in continuous manufacturing and crystallisation will also involve academics from the universities of Bath, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt and Loughborough.

Industrial support is also being provided by GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Fujifilm, British Salt, Croda International, Genzyme, NiTech Solutions, Phoenix Chemicals and Solid Form Solutions.

The centre is part of a £51m investment by the EPSRC in nine new centres officially launched through the UK-wide EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing programme. It has received a grant of £4.9m from the programme and support worth a total of £1.8m is also being contributed by industry, with a further £1m coming from the universities.

It follows the launch of the £89m Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) at Strathclyde, a centre for transforming the way universities, business and industry collaborate to bring competitive advantage to Scotland. The TIC and the new EPSRC centre will work in parallel, forging greater collaboration between academic researchers and industry.

The partners in the new centre for innovative manufacturing plan to secure further funding from a range of sources to grow the centre and extend its activity beyond the initial five-year funding period.

Strathclyde has also invested a further £500,000 in a new continuous processing laboratory that is due to open this summer, and will bring together existing teams at Strathclyde and house a suite of reactors for continuous manufacturing and crystallisation.