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As a UKRI programme, the Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) is intended to reinforce clusters of local strengths in research and innovation by promoting and facilitating collaboration between research organisations and businesses.

The AMRICC Centre, as the legacy of the successful SIPF programme “Midlands Advanced Ceramics for Industry 4.0”, fulfils this mission by undertaking work on behalf of SIPF through collaboration between universities and industry. The vision of the SIPF programme is ‘Advancing Ceramics’, with a mission of bringing economic and social growth for the Advanced Ceramics sector in the Midlands through the acceleration of new product development and of innovation commercialisation.

To do this, The AMRICC Centre is supporting the delivery of six technical workstreams, comprising:

  • Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Computational Modelling
  • Digital Twinning – Sintering
  • Ceramic Reformulation
  • Joining and Repair of Ceramics
  • Ceramic Additive Manufacturing

The range of equipment available at The AMRICC Centre is tailored to enhance local capabilities in these key fields, bringing economic and social growth for the Advanced Ceramics sector to the Midlands cluster through the acceleration of innovation and commercialisation. Notably, several of these workstreams deliberately overlap with ‘Industry 4.0’ themes, researching and implementing technologies related to sensors, data acquisitions and data processing, AI and Machine Learning, computational modelling, and digital twinning.

The AMRICC Centre's work in Industry 4.0 aims to harness the emerging technologies of Industry 4.0 to form a Centre of Excellence for the Advanced Ceramics sector, enabling companies to take innovative ideas and place them on the fast-track towards incorporation into commercial products using the absolute best commercially available equipment.

It's also incredibly important to recognise that the technology isn’t the entire story for Industry 4.0 - it will also be essential to strengthen the talent pipeline and invest in inspiring, engaging, and upskilling the local area to deliver the vision of organic and regional growth as part of the SIPF vision. To this end there are a further 4 supporting workstreams which cover:

  • Project management, communication and additionality
  • Education, skills and diversity
  • Economic development
  • Monitoring and evaluation

The AMRICC Centre focuses on the development of education and skills in service of this, performing school outreach activities from Key Stage 2 onwards, offering experiential opportunities that relate to careers in materials science and advanced manufacturing, rolling out a Materials Degree Apprenticeship in association with affiliated academic institutions, and developing pathways for undergraduates, postgraduates, and current employees to upskill through industrial training and experiential opportunities.

More information on SIPF can be found on the UKRI website