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Manufacturing institute launched to boost British productivity

A new High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute is to be launched today in Essex, with the Government providing £3.5m over three years to keepBritainas a top choice for investment.

The Institute is being developed in partnership with the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) and Ford of Britain to bring together business and academia to create new innovative design systems.

The work will improve manufacturing techniques and increase productivity, and is expected to generate £80m to the local economy in Rainham, Essex. A team of 22 researchers and PhD students will work with six Ford research staff to create virtual manufacturing systems.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: “This country and county has a proud history of manufacturing. By investing in high-tech skills and innovation we can help ensure that as well as being part of our past, quality manufacturing is part of our future.

“By promoting enterprise, pushing forward research, creating jobs and giving people more skills we are sending a powerful signal that Britain is a top choice for inward investment and with that bringing local growth back to communities.

“This is an Institute with a big ambition, to push back the frontiers of manufacturing, quicken production and reduce costs and bring benefits to business as well as the local area.”

Local government minister Bob Neill said: “By bringing together the leading lights from business, academia and engineering the institute presents a wonderful opportunity to putBritainback at the forefront of manufacturing achievement.”

Joe Greenwell, Ford of Britain chairman, added: “The Institute will accelerate research and development in innovative manufacturing systems that will help underpin the future of theUK’s high value manufacturing sector.”

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