Yesterday (5 July), Research England published a glowing report on the performance of the University of Birmingham’s High Temperature Research Centre (HTRC), as part of its initial evaluation of the performance of the flagship UK Research Partnership Investment Fund programme.
The report published online highlights a number of key elements that make this partnership so effective. One of the key components it emphasises is the strong collaborative partnership between the University of Birmingham and Rolls-Royce, highlighting how they’re creating and developing an exchange of knowledge between academia and industry.
The HTRC has been established with Rolls-Royce plc, creating a unique world-class casting, design, simulation and manufacturing research facility. Located at Ansty Park in Coventry, the HTRC is complemented by laboratory facilities at the university's Edgbaston campus. Rolls-Royce is the sole co-investor and has committed over £40m to the project.
Founded on prior research and led by Professor Nick Green, the HTRC has already started to demonstrate new manufacturing capabilities, providing significant time reduction in design and manufacturing components for engine development programmes.
The HTRC's work continues to inform new standards for equipment, the report finds. The HTRC is also pursuing further automation within the manufacturing route to enhance process, product and system capabilities, and researchers are currently exploring ways to provide a new range of tests and measures that would improve the precision and control of the processes.
The work taking place at the centre has also encouraged additional funding from other institutes, such as securing £5m of funding from the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI). The report highlights that the centre is also looking to initiate further partnerships with industries outside of aerospace that use investment casting, and is actively seeking new partners. This collaborative mind-set between industry and academic researchers, the report states, will only enhance the processes to develop components and improving techniques and technologies.
Established in 2017, Research England is responsible for funding, engaging with and understanding English higher education institutions (HEIs).
Please follow the link below to read the full evaluation and find out more about the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund: