Throughout this decade the Government has committed itself to rebalancing the economy and growing GDP from manufacturing. Alongside major strategic support for the regional economies through initiatives including the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the Northern Powerhouse and, more recently, the Midlands Engine there has also been recognition of the need to advance strategic technologies that underpin high value manufacturing. Though frequently considered by many to be a mature technology, the casting sector is one such example of a strategic technology.
In recent years we have seen investment in light alloy casting at Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology, titanium casting at AMRC Castings, Sheffield, and investment casting at the High Temperature Research Centre at The University of Birmingham. These centres are characterised by strong industrial partnership with world-leading businesses, in our case Rolls-Royce plc. Not only are such centres key to continuing our world-leading research in the field but also it’s translation through fast, flexible and responsive design and manufacturing development in to the products of the future. It will be very interesting to see how the Chancellor continues the strong historical support for high value manufacturing and further incentivises investment.