A consortium of industry and academia that successfully secured £18.27million in government funding for the advanced ceramics sector in the Midlands has been recognised with an award.
The Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group (MICG) attracted investment through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) to create a world-leading research and development programme.
The project, submitted by MICG lead partner, Lucideon, won the Science and Technology category at the Stoke-on-Trent Business Live Awards on Thursday, April 29.
Tony Kinsella, CEO of Lucideon, the lead partner for the SIPF, said: “We are proud and honoured that the work of MICG has been recognised with a Stoke-on-Trent Business Live Award – particularly as the city has a long history in the ceramics sector.
“The judging panel required detailed insight into the work of MICG as well as clear aims for growth and innovation over the short and long-term.
“The pioneering research and development project funded by SIPF will create new business opportunities and employment, as well as positioning the Midlands and North Staffordshire as a global centre for advanced ceramics.
“This is an exciting, technological high growth global industry, with the materials used in a wide range of applications including aerospace, telecommunications, clean energy and healthcare.
“This award recognises that the city and wider Midlands is in a great position to be at the forefront of innovation and excellence in the sector.”
MICG members include blue chip companies and SMEs including Rolls-Royce, JCB, Morgan Advanced Materials, Foseco and Lucideon – as well as the universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Loughborough.
The SIPF funding, combined with partner investment and the creation of new business opportunities, will together make the four year programme a £42.1million project.
The work involves creating a streamlined approach to developing new advanced ceramics processes and products, as well as enabling investment in the development of an open pilot-line facility, allowing companies to bring new innovation to market faster.
The SIPF funding is also set to unlock further public and private sector support to create an Advanced Ceramics Campus, proposed for North Staffordshire, which will make the scheme an £80million-plus project in total and contribute towards the growth of 4,200 jobs in the region by the end of the decade.
The Advanced Ceramics Sector Profile is available at https://micg.org.uk/