Businesses in the north west of the UK are being helped to develop new products faster and more cheaply.
The advanced engineering technology centre was officially opened today at the Science and Technology Facility’s Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire.
It will provide UK businesses of all sizes, including small start-ups, with affordable access to more than £2 million of advanced engineering technology, including advanced 3D printing and rapid prototype assistance.
Professor Susan Smith, head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, said: “The new Campus Technology Hub has one purpose – to provide companies with affordable access to the best skills and facilities in engineering R&D so that they can solve their technology challenges to better compete on a national and international level. We can help entrepreneurs, small and medium companies, and more established businesses turn their brilliant ideas into reality.”
Start-up company Taylor Garfit is one of the first companies to use the centre. It is developing technology for use in the provision of humanitarian shelters for refugee scenarios and international disasters where rapid deployment is critical.
Richard Taylor, design director at Taylor Garfit, said: “In 2015 I visited a refugee camp in South Sudan to see if there were any opportunities to use my design expertise to improve the shelters built by refugees. Humanitarian aid agencies typically provide displaced families with tarpaulins, rope, nails and a few tools with which to build a shelter.
“I quickly noticed that many families had problems in constructing a robust frame to support the tarpaulins. Having identified this need, we have developed an innovative framing system to enable the construction of more robust and durable shelters.”
Mr Taylor said the assistance available from the STFC centre had been absolutely critical to the company’s rapid development of a shelter framing system.