A WORLD-class carbon neutral manufacturing hub has opened its doors close to Glasgow Airport, ensuring Scotland’s “long history of innovation and engineering continues”.

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), operated by the University of Strathclyde, opened up its new flagship facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland in Renfrewshire on Wednesday.

Acting "as a magnet for advanced manufacturing in Scotland and across the world", the carbon neutral campus will support manufacturing, engineering and associated technology businesses of all sizes.

Scotland’s manufacturing sector employs more than 179,000 people and is responsible for more than 50% of the country’s international exports.

The building was opened by First Minister Humza Yousaf at a ceremony on Wednesday.

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He said: “The opening of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) is an exciting moment – it will ensure that Scotland’s long history of innovation and engineering continues, and also supports our drive to net zero.

“Scotland is one of the most innovative nations in the world. By bringing together research, industry and the public sector, this facility will allow companies of all sizes to embrace creative manufacturing techniques and support cutting-edge research. Manufacturing is critical to our long-term economic recovery and this centre, which the Scottish Government provided funding of £75 million towards, will support that.

“Today we are publishing the first annual progress report on our National Strategy for Economic Transformation. NMIS is a tangible example of the partnership working it promotes, showing our commitment to delivering for both business and people.”

Since 2019, NMIS has helped deliver more than 150 research and development projects for 142 different customers and partners. It has upskilled and reskilled more than 1300 people, placed more than 80 graduate trainees in Scottish manufacturing, and supported more than 100 internships.

The new facility will be home to the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, a fully-connected digital factory, and publicly-accessible collaboration hub.

The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC) – which is also part of the NMIS group – will relocate from its current base in Renfrewshire, splitting its operations between the new building and NMIS’s founding centre the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

Featuring a variety of technology zones dedicated to growth areas, the NMIS Digital Factory will include a hub dedicated to helping manufacturers embrace the circular economy and extend the life of their products and systems.

The factory demonstrates the vast potential of digital technologies in helping manufacturers improve their products and processes in the drive towards a net-zero economy, while still increasing productivity.

Chris Courtney, CEO of the NMIS, added: “A facility of this scale and ambition doesn't happen by chance. Thank you to our colleagues and partners, who have worked together tirelessly for many years to make it a reality. It's been a truly collaborative effort – from creating a shared vision of NMIS to delivering our world-class new building.

"We now move into a phase of delivering on those ambitions through intense collaboration with industry and providing innovative solutions to their most challenging problems. Scotland has a strong manufacturing sector – supporting world-renowned capabilities in the maritime industry, renewable energies, food and drink, the satellites and space industry and many others. We also benefit from world-leading universities and a growing number of ambitious technology entrepreneurs.

"NMIS can play a crucial role in harnessing this potential to impact what we make and how we make it more sustainably and efficiently.”