£18.27 million investment boosts Midlands’ advanced ceramics ambitions
26 Jul 2021
Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group has secured £18.27 million in government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF).
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.
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.
SIPF funding, combined with partner investment and the creation of new business opportunities, will together make the programme a £42.1 million project.
MICG chair ,Ian Edmonds of Rolls-Royce, said: “ “Advanced ceramics are often unseen but vital components of jet engines, electronics, medical devices, car batteries, other energy technologies and many more manufactured products.
“They allow products to operate at higher temperatures, in more challenging environments and can last longer than plastic or metal equivalents.
He added that the advanced ceramics sector is projected to be worth £143 billion globally by 2023.
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.
SIPF funding is also set to unlock further investment from MICG’s partners.
This includes opening up opportunities for the next stage of the development, an Advanced Ceramics Campus, a 130,000 square feet development, proposed for North Staffordshire.
The overall £80 million-plus project in total will contribute towards 4,200 jobs in the region over the next decade.
Tony Kinsella, chief executive of Lucideon (pictured), said: “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.
Formed by some of the area’s largest businesses and universities, the MICG was launched in 2020 to deliver a world-leading approach to advanced ceramics.
Membership of the MICG is made up of blue-chip companies and SMEs including Rolls-Royce, JCB, Morgan Advanced Materials and Lucideon - as well as the universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Loughborough.