Centre of Expertise in Advanced Materials and Sustainability – CEAMS Rochdale Development Agency

CEAMS will be a nationally significant asset, located at the Gateway North site within Atom Valley. The facility will include workshop space for R&D activity; office space for CEAMS management; a café, and flexible space for meeting, teaching and exhibitions. The 115,000 sq ft facility will also offer dedicated commercial space for scale-up firms who wish to co-locate with the Centre’s translational R&D expertise.

The challenge

The challenge CEAMS seeks to address is getting companies to use and adopt sustainable materials by working with them to address challenges in R&D and commercialisation.

The project

The core objectives of CEAMS will be to:

  • Support the development of productivity enhancing novel materials and accelerate the adoption of new materials.
  • Support the growth and development of businesses working in advanced materials.
  • Catalyse the formation of a cluster of R&D intensive firms to support ‘levelling up’ by creating a more productive and resilient advanced manufacturing sector (and supply chain) in Atom Valley.
  • Support the UK’s transition to Net Zero.
  • Strengthen the advanced materials skills pipeline.
  • Accelerate the adoption of industrial digital technologies (IDTs) within advanced materials companies.

The Centre will offer two additional strands of support related to skills and Industrial Digital Technologies:

  • CEAMS will partner with existing HE and FE providers from across Greater Manchester to provide learners with a high quality environment, and improved access to both cutting edge kit/technician support and work experience and apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Digitalisation support from the CEAMS will include demonstrating the benefits of digitalisation to firms and providing a diagnostics and advice service to firms, alongside the potential to develop materials specific digitalisation solutions.

More broadly, CEAMS will act as an ‘honest broker’ and convener of relationships with existing translational research centres which focus on specific materials and processes. This will involve collaborating with other Centres to solve innovation challenges faced by SMEs where these Centres have complementary capabilities to CEAMS.

The future

Over the next three years, CEAMS aims to increase turnover, employment and productivity among advanced materials manufacturers. The advanced materials innovation ecosystem – both in Greater Manchester and nationally – will be strengthened, with higher levels of collaboration and the development of an advanced materials cluster in Atom Valley. The Centre will help create a more resilient supply chain for advanced materials end-users, and ultimately reduce the use of, and pollution from, unsustainable materials.