University's AMRC wins Queen's Anniversary Prize for Education

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing has won national recognition by winning the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education which commends 'outstanding achievement at a world-class level'. The award is assessed by a specialist panel over several months, and then put forward by the Prime Minister to the Queen for Royal Assent.

The AMRC has been selected for this prestigious award in recognition of its track record as an outstanding collaborative venture involving world-leading research and over 40 business partners, including the world's largest aerospace company Boeing and leading companies such as Rolls-Royce, Messier-Dowty and GE Aviation.

The Centre embodies a new approach to collaboration which has been enthusiastically embraced by leading businesses. By rapidly embedding the latest research into manufacturing businesses, step changes in productivity are achieved. Boeing and Rolls-Royce have both publicly stated that they plan to use the AMRC as a model for future research centre partnerships with universities.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Keith Burnett, welcomed the Prize and gives credit to the achievement of the AMRC team and partners. He said: "The University's vision includes our stated aim to develop a critical mass of strategic partnerships and collaborations with world-leading companies in which the process of discovery is accelerated. The AMRC is a wonderful example of exactly this. In the five years since its development, growth at the AMRC has been staggering and tangible benefits have been felt in the regional and national economy, with key orders won for this country and jobs secured on the basis of research-led solutions which make companies more competitive."

Nick West, Director of Communications at Boeing UK, warmly welcomed the news of the Queen's Prize for the AMRC with Boeing. He added: "Britain has proven itself to be one of the most successful locations for aerospace engineering, design and manufacture in the world. Thanks to Boeing's partnership with the University of Sheffield, new techniques have resulted in more energy efficient aircraft. We are also using composite materials to push the boundaries of new materials vital to the next generation of aerospace. Such cutting edge developments are the result of a collaboration which develops skills and creates wealth and intellectual property for us as a company, for the University and for the benefit of UK industry."

The AMRC model is being enthusiastically replicated by governments and partner organisations from around the world. Within the University, the original AMRC premises have been outgrown and an environmentally sympathetic, carbon neutral, Rolls-Royce sponsored, Factory of the Future, which has benefited from a £6.5million investment from Yorkshire Forward and a £3million grant from the European Regional Development Fund, will open early in 2008.

This is the fourth time that the University of Sheffield has won a prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize. Previous awards were for the Humanities Research Institute (1998), Environmental Outreach to Business and Industry (2000) and research into Ageing (2002).

Notes for Editors:


About the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education

• The Queen's Prize is the most distinguished award that can be made to a UK institution for higher or further education. The awards are designed to recognise the outstanding contribution that universities and colleges in the United Kingdom make to the intellectual, economic, cultural and social life of the nation.
• The Prizes Scheme sits alongside, though separate from, the Queen's Awards to Industry and is operated by the Royal Anniversary Trust.
• The first Queen's Anniversary Prizes were awarded in 1994 and the Scheme is held biennially.
• All universities and colleges in the UK are eligible to enter the competition. Each institution is permitted only one entry to the competition.
• The award will be formally presented by Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, at an honours ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February.

About the AMRC

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing is a £multi-million partnership which builds on the shared scientific excellence, expertise and technological innovation of the world's leading aerospace company and the world-class research within the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering.

For further information please contact: Ruth Arnold, Head of External Relations, on 0114 2221035/0798 9442846 or email r.arnold@sheffield.ac.uk.