Major milestone achieved at Scotland’s new flagship manufacturing R&D facility

Architect drawing of buildings

The University of Strathclyde-operated National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has taken ownership of its new flagship facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) in Renfrewshire, just over two years since construction began.

Flanked by Glasgow Airport and by fellow High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult centre, the CPI’s Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, the 11,500m2 operationally carbon neutral HQ will act as a magnet for innovative global manufacturing, engineering and tech businesses. It is home to the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, a fully connected Digital Factory and a publicly-accessible collaboration hub.

Innovation ecosystem

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, and Chair of the NMIS Board, said: “We are delighted to take ownership of the new NMIS facility as we take a step closer to opening the building to our partners and collaborators.

This flagship facility – which has sustainability at its heart – is a unique part of Scotland’s manufacturing innovation ecosystem. It will play a leading role in developing advanced manufacturing, industry 4.0 capability and cross-sectoral research and innovation activity in Scotland, the UK and beyond.

NMIS Chief Executive Officer Chris Courtney said: “This is a truly exciting time for us all at the NMIS Group and a fantastic way to start the year, but in many ways, the real work starts now.

“The next few months will see us bringing this magnificent building to life with the installation of cutting-edge equipment and the phased relocation of some of our team. Our new HQ is a place designed for intense collaboration, accelerated innovation and the development of the skills required to deliver the future of manufacturing.

“We work closely with partners across Scotland, the UK and the world and look forward to welcoming them to the new building to deliver innovation at scale and pace with us.

“Similarly, we can’t wait to open the doors to the broader manufacturing and technology community and inspire the next generation of engineers here in Renfrewshire and across Scotland to create the products and services of the future across all sectors.”

Unique building

Built by Morrison Construction, part of the Galliford Try Group, and designed by Glasgow-based HLM Architects, the unique building is clearly visible on the local skyline. Distinctive features of NMIS HQ include its deep purple façade, reminiscent of Scottish heather, a 32 x 12 m, ‘window to the world,’ providing a view into the Digital Factory where the future of manufacturing will be explored and delivered, and a dramatic timber Glulam structure that sits internally above the office and collaborative spaces.

Leading the way in sustainable design, the flagship facility also features clean and innovative low carbon solutions to mitigate its impact on the environment and make it a great place to work, learn and collaborate. These include a large-scale rooftop solar array for electricity generation, access to a state-of-the-art low carbon district heating network, and a rainwater harvesting system.

NMIS is operated by the University of Strathclyde.  It is supported by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Island Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Funding Council. It is part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult.