In July 2021, the MICG secured £18.27 million in government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF), to put the area firmly on the map as a global centre for advanced ceramics.
Globally, the advanced ceramics sector is projected to be worth £143 billion by 2023, and the outcome of this funding means the Midlands is well-placed to be part of it.
Advanced ceramics provide vital components for jet engines, electronics, medical devices, car batteries, other energy technologies and many more manufactured products.
These materials allow products to operate at higher temperatures, in more challenging environments and can last longer than plastic or metal equivalents.
The funds will be used to create a world-leading industrial and academic research and development programme over the next four years, creating a cluster of new businesses in the Midlands and strengthening the supply chain in the region.
The SIPF funding, combined with partner investment and the creation of new business opportunities, will together make the programme a £42.1 million project.
Led by UK Research and Innovation, Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) is a competitive funding scheme that takes a place-based approach to research and innovation funding, to support significant local economic growth.
Thousands of jobs are set to be created in the Midlands after the region’s bid to become a world-leader in advanced ceramics received the significant cash boost.
It also opens up opportunities to attract further public and private sector funding for an Advanced Ceramics Campus – a science park dedicated to materials and focussing on advanced ceramics.
This facility will provide an important hub for industry, offering a centre of excellence for research and development, as well as underpinning academic research.
It will create an environment for business and academia to share knowledge and collaborate on research and development, safeguarding existing jobs and allowing existing companies to expand, as well as providing opportunities for new start-ups.
If funded, the campus will also have a beneficial impact across the Midlands, with innovation improving productivity and competitiveness in manufacturing, helping to ‘level up’ the region’s economy and create new efficiencies to drive down emissions.
The programme is divided into ten workstreams with defined leaders, contributing partners and expected outputs.
There are 6 technical workstreams:
- Sintering models and machine learning
- Digital Twinning
- Joining and repair
- Additive manufacturing
- Scale up and Commercialisation
In addition to these, there are four supporting workstreams to deliver the vision of organic and regional growth as part of the SIPF vision:
- Project management, communication and additionality
- Education, skills and diversity
- Economic development
- Monitoring and evaluation
Updates will be disseminated throughout the projects and technical academic and industrial events and at SIPF annual showcase events.
Please contact us if you have any specific interests.
List of SIPF partners
- Lucideon (programme leader and workstream 0, 1, 6, 7 and 8 leader)
- Leicester University (WS2 leader)
- Birmingham University (WS3, 4 and 9 leader)
- Loughborough University (WS 5 leader)
- AEON Engineering
- CDS group
- Precision Ceramics
- Rolls Royce
New appointments are key to the MICG driving forward the £18.27 million pound government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF), to put the Midlands region at the heart of the global advanced ceramics industry.
New roles have recently been created to develop workstreams across the Group. These include PhD Students, Research Associates, Engineers and Scientists across academic and industrial partners.
There will be open opportunities for placements and work experience and we are planning several new roles in our expansion over the months ahead.
Please contact us for more details.
Throughout 2022, the MICG team at MICG can be seen at exciting events.
Consortium members are also actively participating in conferences and exhibitions across the UK, and this page is regularly updated to keep you up-to-date.
Past (contact us for feedback or to connect):
- Ceramics Innovation Network (organised by Lucideon and BCC),
- Date 27th April
- MICG represented by a table-top exhibition at this event at the Royce Institute in Manchester.
- The focus of the event is industry/academia collaboration, with the MICG promoting the SIPF and net-zero activities.
- Ceramics UK
- 29th – 30th June, Hall 17-18 NEC Birmingham
- MICG stand location: stand 18-724
- You can find more details here https://ceramics-uk.com/exhibit/exhibitor-list/
- Our presence will raise the profile of the MICG as a group. Several MICG members will also have their own stand at the event and other groups and associations are exhibiting too.
- MICG consortium partner Lucideon will also have a stand (18-627) at the event, as well as two presentation slots at the parallel conference:
- Tony Kinsella spoke at the panel “How have the past two years impacted the direction of innovation?” on 29th June 11:15-12:30
- Dave Pearmain spoke about “Improving agility in materials manufacturing process innovation” on 29th June, 13:45-15:00
- UK ACerS, American Ceramic Society
- Date 27th July
- The UK chapter conference was held at the Catalyst Building in Stoke-On-Trent on SIPF and MICG were represented there
- More information here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/new-ceramic-technologies-for-the-move-to-net-zero-tickets-335218356127
- October 2019 – The Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group (MICG) was established to ensure advanced ceramics help drive the competitiveness and success of Midlands advanced manufacturing by tackling key innovation challenges.
- July 2021 – The MICG consortium secures £18.27 million in government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF), to put the area firmly on the map as a global centre for advanced ceramics.
- July 2021 – Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, saw first-hand the opportunities advanced materials will bring for the future in a tour of Lucideon’s Stoke-on-Trent facility and meets other members of the MICG.
- July 2021 – MICG sets up a dedicated sustainability subgroup. Advanced ceramics in the Midlands have a key role to play in the shift towards a net zero carbon future and MICG is actively working to progress this vital area through this group.
- October 2021 – SIPF programme official start date
- June 2022 – MICG comes together for its official launch, at Ceramics UK at the NEC in Birmingham.
This video shows Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), seeing first-hand the opportunities advanced materials will bring for the future in a tour of Lucideon’s Stoke-on-Trent facility.
You can also download our SIPF brochure here.