7 January 2016

The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) launches today at Swansea University

Backed by £8.6m of EU funds, Swansea University’s Materials and Manufacturing Academy will provide training in specialist technical and management skills key to the advanced engineering and materials sector. The project will see 149 people take part in an industry-backed programme offering postgraduate qualifications including Research Masters and Engineering Doctorates. Full time students and people currently employed in the engineering sector will take part in the programme, which is supported by a range of industrial partners across Wales.

The participating businesses, including TATA Steel, BASF, Royal Mint and Weartech International, will be actively involved in the programme by formulating research projects based on the technological developments taking place within their industries. The programme will also utilise the University’s new £9m Advanced Imaging of Materials (AIM) facility, which is a scientific imaging facility unique in Europe.

Announcing the EU funds for the project at a launch event at Swansea University’s new Bay Campus, Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, said: “Advanced engineering is a very important sector within our economy, so it’s excellent news that over £8m of EU funds are being invested to ensure that Wales has outstanding leaders in this industry now and in the future. EU investment was also crucial to the development of the new Bay Campus, and I’m delighted that the people taking part in this project will benefit from the world class facilities within the Engineering Manufacturing Centre.”

The £450m Bay Campus opened its doors to 5,000 students in September after securing £100m of EU investment, and aims to generate around £3 billion of economic impact in the Swansea Bay region over the next ten years. In addition to the EU investment, the project will also be financed by the participating businesses, Swansea University and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The Materials and Manufacturing Academy builds on the success of the University’s EU-backed Steel Training Research and Innovation Partnership, which trained 90 people in advanced skills for the steel industry.

Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Richard B. Davies, said: “The Materials and Manufacturing Academy announced today is hugely important to Swansea University, the Swansea Bay City Region, and beyond.

“Securing this EU funding allows us to offer funded research doctorate and masters positions to talented graduates and creates firm and meaningful links with our engineering sector partners. The Academy will see our annual intake of Engineering Doctorate students more than double, offering students the opportunity to undertake a doctorate in partnership with an engineering company looking to capture talent, innovate, and grow.

“I am confident that this pioneering and ambitious scheme will produce the future captains of industry we need in this country, helping to secure more jobs and create wealth through the application of science and engineering.”



Write up taken from the Swansea University website

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