The universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde are among the partners behind a “global centre of excellence” looking to transform large-scale manufacturing, the Arrol Gibb Innovation Campus (AGIC).
Based at Babcock International’s Rosyth facility, near Edinburgh, the new centre will allow access to the latest technology and industrial techniques for small- and medium-sized enterprises working in the marine, nuclear and energy transition sectors.
Skills development, advice and office space will also be offered.
Besides Babcock International and the universities, the initiative’s collaborators are Fife College, Fife Council, Scottish Enterprise, and Skills Development Scotland.
The aim is to develop pioneering expertise in five core capabilities on a single site: large-scale advanced manufacturing, composites, robotics, nuclear manufacturing, and digital shipbuilding.
These will be backed by cross-campus skills development and an innovation incubator, for both start-ups and existing businesses seeking product and process improvements.
Skills development for a broad range of clients will form a central component of AGIC’s work, be they businesses, apprentices, or students. Each will be offered access to real-life datasets and state-of-the-art equipment, including the latest digital and data tools, as well as world-leading academic research and shop-floor developments.
“By collaboratively working together with our partners, the campus will create something unique in Scotland that will drive and energise advanced manufacturing,” said Sean Donaldson, MD of Babcock’s Rosyth site.
“With an open cooperative approach, the campus will enable users to conceive, test, implement and learn, creating knowledge, IP and digital skills for economic growth. Supporting flexible large-scale advanced manufacturing for energy, shipbuilding and infrastructure sectors, the campus will provide a rewarding future for generations to come.”
The first facility at the new development is already welcoming its first customers, ahead of its official opening in May. FASTBLADE, developed by the University of Edinburgh, is claimed to be the first test facility to use regenerative hydraulic technology to offer high-quality, low-cost fatigue testing of lightweight composite structures for research and product development.