12.08.2020MICG News Update: August 2020
Engineering for the Future
Advanced ceramics is a vital and growing field with a central role in the competitiveness of key high-value industries in the Midlands. It provides products and services to an increasing and important range of advanced manufacturing industries and their supply chains, including: automotive, aerospace, healthcare, power and energy, space exploration, defence, and telecommunications.
It is easy to appreciate why continued innovation in this field is of huge importance in helping to drive Midlands industries and the future success of the UK advanced manufacturing sector.
Aims of the Midlands Industrial Ceramic Group
As a unique consortium of industrial and academic stakeholders working together to accelerate the R&D, technology adoption and development of advanced ceramics in the Midlands, the aims of the Midlands Industrial Ceramic Group are to make the Midlands the go-to location for the global R&D and production of advanced ceramics technology, to increase the competitiveness of the region’s industrial base, and rapidly grow UK exports of advanced ceramics.
The consortium has already made much progress by targeted research work packages to meet the needs of the industrial members, together with an economic development activity plan and a skills and education plan, as well as investment cases for public and private investment.
The MICG Advanced Ceramics Campus
With its new brochure, the MICG outlines its aims to provide a focus for growth in the Midlands with plans for an Advanced Ceramics Campus in North Staffordshire, on the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone.
The purpose of the campus is to enhance industrial ability in the Midlands to develop innovative ceramic technologies, with faster scale-up and marketplace adoption. By creating hundreds of new technical jobs of higher GVA, this will contribute to the region’s economic growth.
The intention is to enable UK manufacturers to compete nationally and internationally with high cost competitors like Japan, Korea, and the United States. In terms of inward investment, cost-effective manufacturing regions for advanced ceramics are attracting global interest. The Advanced Ceramics Campus, and the Midlands region, will become a magnet for new and high technology businesses requiring advanced materials and commercialisation expertise.
Support from the Midlands Engine
The Midlands Engine partnership brings together public sector partners and businesses to complement the activity of local and combined authorities, LEPs, universities, businesses and others.
Showing his partnership’s support, Midlands Engine Chairman Sir John Peace recently attended a meeting of the MICG, partners in which range from some of the biggest manufacturers in the region such as Rolls-Royce, Morgan Advanced Materials, JCB and Vesuvius, through to SMEs including Lucideon, Precision Ceramics and AEON Engineering, and academics from three Midlands Engine partner universities.
With a global market predicted to be US$80 billion by 2022 and growing at 10% per annum, advanced ceramic products and their development are critical to the future competitiveness of key high-value advanced manufacturing industries in the Midlands, and vital to the nation’s economic recovery and self-sufficiency.