University of East Anglia announces £7.4m engineering institute

An artist's impression of what the new Institute of Productivity at UEA will look like. Picture: UEA

An artist's impression of what the new Institute of Productivity at UEA will look like. Picture: UEA - Credit: UEA

A £7.4m engineering powerhouse will be created at the University of East Anglia to drive the innovations of the future.

The launch of the Institute of Productivity will enable the university to launch a dedicated School of Engineering in 2021 to further the region's desire to be a leader in the industry.

It will see 1,268 new engineering students enrolled in the first five years and will be located on the university campus.

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Fiona Lettice, pro vice chancellor for research and innovation at UEA said: "At the heart of the Institute of Productivity are the engineers of the future.

"The Institute will support businesses in our region by enabling them to work alongside world-class researchers and students to discover practical solutions to current and future challenges. Students and businesses will be able to explore new ideas, prototype designs and create innovative products and services."

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A grant of £4.5m has been agreed by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for Norfolk and Suffolk and this will be matched by UEA.

The New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (NAAME) and TechEast industry sector groups will also be key delivery partners of the Institute.

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Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia LEP, said: "This is an important step in making sure that Norfolk and Suffolk businesses can continue to grow and compete within the UK and internationally.

"Our region's manufacturing sector is worth £5.2 billion and it underpins productivity and innovation in other sectors. Therefore, it is essential to keep investing in this sector to ensure our region benefits from the potential business and investment opportunities."

The Institute of Productivity will have workshops dedicated to advanced robotics, a 3D printing studio, a digital design lab and a shared studio space.

Jamie Thums, chairman of NAAME said: "This is great news for the industry as whole and its wider business community. The region has many innovative manufacturing and engineering businesses, but the sector continues to face a skills shortage of unprecedented levels.

"With over one million trained people required by 2025 nationally, this investment will help with that. The Institute will also improve connections between businesses, academia and partners, which will help fuel productivity improvement."

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