Manufacturing innovation centre of excellence launches first events for 2022

Jamie Hepburn MSP attending the Hub in November

SMART Hub Lanarkshire has launched its programme of events for the first quarter of 2022.

The Smart Hub, which is a partnership between North Lanarkshire Council, New College Lanarkshire and the University of Strathclyde, is home to a robotics and automation training facility and a dedicated space for SMEs to meet, learn and access business support and academic expertise.

Based at New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell Campus, the facility opened digitally in April 2021 and physically in October 2021. Since then, 290 people from manufacturing SMEs, universities, colleges, councils, enterprise agencies and industry organisations have attended webinars, events and demonstrations.

With Covid restrictions now easing, the Hub will begin welcoming visitors again from 25th January for a series of industry-focused events.

Live demonstrations of collaborative robots – known as ‘cobots’ – are aimed at SMEs considering introducing automation. Also available from later this month are ‘Explore and Connect’ Sessions for manufacturing SMEs. These sessions are designed to connect manufacturing businesses with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS). A dedicated SME engagement adviser will outline the support on offer from NMIS and will be available for one-to-one meetings.

Barry Skea, head of department for science and technology at New College Lanarkshire, said, “We’re delighted that Smart Hub Lanarkshire will be able to welcome visitors again from 25th January. Our events, which include one-to-one sessions and small group demonstrations, will place a strong emphasis on providing a safe, interactive and high quality experience.

“I would encourage manufacturing SMEs to take up the opportunity to come and see us, find out what automation can do for you, and learn about the industry-focused business support available locally in Lanarkshire.”

Councillor Allan Graham, convener of the enterprise and growth committee at North Lanarkshire Council, added, “Despite the obvious operating challenges the ongoing pandemic has presented, Smart Hub Lanarkshire continues to go from strength to strength.”

Smart Hub Lanarkshire is one of 12 projects to be awarded a share of £15.8 million of funding from the Scottish Government through the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund.

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