By Ian McConnell

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland has leased space the size of a football pitch at Renfrew, primarily for its £11.8 million research and development programme with aerospace giant Boeing.

NMIS, operated by the University of Strathclyde and supported by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and Renfrewshire Council, said the space would be refurbished to accommodate personnel and equipment for the Boeing programme.

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It will also house “other state-of-the-art advanced engineering equipment” for projects with other manufacturing businesses. NMIS has signed a lease with property firm Canmoor for a 60,456 sq ft unit at Renfrew’s Westway Park.

The Boeing programme is a partnership with the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre, part of NMIS. Boeing will establish an R&D team at the Westway Park unit, working with AFRC’s forming and forging technologists.

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NMIS said Boeing had hired a team to work on the programme and it was expected the personnel would be on site later this year. It added that the programme would “demonstrate innovative manufacturing processes and technologies related to metallic components, building upon research previously conducted at the AFRC”.

The project is part-funded by Scottish Enterprise, which is making a £3.5m contribution to Boeing.

NMIS said: “Through these technologies and building capability in others, the team will be investigating reducing material wastage, possibilities to improve safety, productivity and environmental impact.”