A new Centre aimed at boosting manufacturing in the Midlands has been launched at Loughborough University.

The Industrial Policy and Insight Centre will bring together academics, business and government to generate thought-leadership papers, insight and industrial policy positioning reports.

Run in collaboration with The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Centre will tackle a range of issues to ensure the well-being and growth of Midlands manufacturing, including:

  • Barriers to rapid market pivots based on Covid-19 experience
  • Business model transformation
  • Cultural change within the manufacturing environment
  • Economic impact of manufacturing
  • Energy supply, including renewables
  • Financing and funding model transformation
  • Market aggregation
  • Supply chain development
  • Technology drivers

Launching the initiative, Loughborough’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Allison, said: “I’m delighted to be launching the Industrial Policy and Insight Centre, and really look forward to what it will contribute – not just to the University, but nationally.”

Centre director Professor Chris White, of Loughborough’s School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, added: “The Centre will focus on activities supporting the Midlands’ manufacturing sector. In addition, it will review both the national and international landscapes to help ensure that the region is recognised as synonymous with world-class manufacturing.”

The Centre’s other activities will include a public lecture programme, an annual manufacturing leaders’ summit and a national manufacturing summit.

It will report to a board, comprising Clive Hickman, Chief Executive of MTC; Loughborough’s Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Steve Rothberg; and Professor Paul Conway, Dean of the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Clive Hickman said: “Our organisation’s collaboration with universities, such as Loughborough, is a vital part of our work. The Midlands will play a central role in the renaissance of manufacturing in our country, and this new Centre will help rebuild the reputation of our region as being at the leading edge of manufacturing innovation. I wish it every success.”

Two Centre sponsors have already been secured – Lloyds Bank and Shakespeare Martineau – with funding from a variety of other streams also expected.