A new light metals research centre, based at Brunel’s Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST) is set to revitalise the UK metals industry. Global manufacturers, suppliers and consultants will help train the metallurgists of the future and reinforce the UK as a world leader in metallurgical science. A £16m grant from The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) was announced by Universities, Science and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore. Named the Future Metallurgy Centre, the new facility will develop new casting technologies and next generation aluminium, magnesium alloys for things like top-performing cars and planes. Already, it has attracted more than double the UKRPIF investment in £40m match funding from industry partners including Constellium, Chinalco, Aeromet International, Grainger & Worrall and Innoval Technology. “We are very pleased with the £16m UKRPIF funding,” said Professor Zhongyun Fan, Director of Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST).
“This will allow us to build the Future Metallurgy Centre, which is part of the planned Advanced Light Metals Research Park at Brunel University London. The completion of the Future Metallurgy Centre will consolidate our international leading position in metallurgical research and provide an effective support to the UK metals industry.”
Prof Fan will use the UKRPIF funding to buy state-of-the-art analytical instruments to analyse advanced metallic materials and to build the Future Metallurgy Centre building – the final major planned developments for the ALMRP. Along with BCAST’s Advanced Metals Casting Centre and Advanced Metals Processing Centre scale-up facilities, the new Future Metallurgy Centre will boost industry from discovery to rollout.
The investment comes through Round 6 of UKRPIF, Research England’s flagship capital investment scheme.
The ALMRP is one of 11 projects to win funding totalling more than £670m for UK research and innovation. That includes £221m of public money from UKRPIF and more than £450m pledged co-investment from businesses, charities and donors.