ARU Peterborough and inventors of LCD 3D printing Photocentric have agreed a partnership that will see Peterborough’s new university and one of the region’s leading cutting-edge companies establish even closer ties.
The new Memorandum of Understanding aims to benefit ARU Peterborough students as well as staff from both organisations by exploring joint research projects, the development of apprenticeships and continuing professional development (CPD) routes, and opportunities for student engagement and curriculum enrichment.
Photocentric will be moving into the new £16.7m Manufacturing and Materials Research and Development Centre, which is the second phase of ARU Peterborough. Construction work on the building, which will feature 2,800 sqm of flexible research space over three floors, started in October 2021 and is due to be completed in December this year.
With anchor tenant Photocentric and other established and start-up companies, the new Manufacturing and Materials Research and Development Centre will provide ARU Peterborough with important links with local industry and foster collaboration in advanced manufacturing and materials research.
Photocentric is renowned for being innovative, including creating brand-new ways to digitally mass manufacture products using their revolutionary technology. The Peterborough company received its third Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2020 and last year opened a dedicated digital manufacturing facility in Arizona in the United States.
Managing Director Paul Holt, who received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours for his contribution to international trade and commitment to education, as well as Photocentric’s role in providing millions of 3D-printed PPE to UK healthcare workers, said: “We are excited about the important role that the centre will play in developing the engineers and scientists of tomorrow.
“A strong and innovative manufacturing sector is at the heart of a modern economy, and at Photocentric, we are helping global businesses to reimagine their manufacturing processes. This centre will play a key role in the development of the disruptive technologies and new materials that will shape tomorrow.
“We are delighted to be working alongside our partner, ARU Peterborough, in helping to place this region at the cutting edge of manufacturing innovation.”
Professor Ross Renton, Principal of ARU Peterborough, said: “We have made it clear from the beginning that ARU Peterborough will be a very different kind of university. We are working closely with local businesses to ensure we are providing the courses and skills they need, allowing our graduates to remain in this region, in turn helping to power local economic growth.
“ARU Peterborough’s courses include BEng (Hons) Electronics and Robotics, BEng (Hons) Manufacturing Engineering and BEng (Hons) Mechatronics, and we hope our close relationship with Photocentric will provide enormous benefits for our students and future graduates, as well as the region’s economy.”
ARU Peterborough is a partnership between the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough City Council and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), and will open in September.