MICG looks back at first year of £18.27 million SIPF project

Date posted: October 12, 2022

The Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group (MICG) is marking the first year of a research project which is set to create thousands of jobs across the region over the next decade.

The MICG secured £18.27 million government funding, provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF), in October last year, after it was revealed in June 2021 that the group’s bid had been successful.

So far £2.9 million has been invested in equipment to create the AMRICC Centre, an open access pilot line for the advanced ceramics sector, which will be the legacy from the SIPF programme, and 17 research and development projects have been forged, to continue exploring solutions to current and future advanced ceramics challenges.

The funding has also helped to create eight new academic researcher positions, nine highly skilled positions in industry and kickstarted a cohort of materials degree apprentices within the partner companies.

The MICG consortium is made up of blue-chip companies including Rolls-Royce, Morgan Advanced Materials and Foseco, as well as SMEs including Lucideon, Precision Ceramics and AEON Engineering – together with the universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Loughborough.

The consortium was established to support and submit the Strength in Places funding bid and to position the Midlands and North Staffordshire at the centre of the global advanced ceramics industry, creating a conduit for collaboration between industry and academia.

The SIPF funding, combined with partner investment and the creation of new business opportunities, will together make the “Midlands Advanced Ceramics for Industry 4.0” a £42.1 million programme.

It is also set to unlock further investment from MICG’s partners, including opening-up opportunities for an Advanced Ceramics Campus, a 130,000 sq ft development, proposed for Staffordshire.

The campus will make the scheme an £80 million-plus project in total, and ultimately contribute towards the growth of 4,200 jobs in the region over the next decade.

Dr Cathryn Hickey, of MICG, said: “This is a long-term strategic programme with defined aims to open-up global markets, drive innovation and harness the talents and skills of the workforce in the Midlands.

“So far, MICG networking events have attracted the attention of more than 170 advanced ceramics professionals and key stakeholders, while hours of technical discussion have helped drive the momentum of the programme through to delivery.

“Now, just a year after receiving the first stage of £5.4 million of the SIPF funding, we are seeing our plans start to take shape, innovation development programmes are happening, while jobs and opportunities have already been created for people in the region.”

More details about MICG can be found at https://micg.org.uk/


Keep Updated

Latest News & Events

Nigel Driffield photo

Economic Opportunities

Jan 26 2023

Professor Driffield: Foreign Direct Investment and the West Midlands

Nigel Driffield is a Professor of International Business and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Regional Engagement) at the University of Warwick. Prof. Driffield's work enables a region to understand the motivations behind firms investing in the area, thus supporting the region to understand its competitive position when seeking to attract such investment.

Read more


Jan 24 2023

Midlands manufacturing strengths make region key to increasing UK’s productivity

A new study from the Centre for Social Justice – Making the change: A plan to reboot British manufacturing and restore growth – says a revival of the manufacturing industry in the UK is essential if the government is to achieve its flagship ambition of ‘levelling up’ the poorest parts of the country. As the UK’s manufacturing heartland, this could put the Midlands at the forefront of the nation’s economic recovery.   

Read more
The A500 Queensway dual carriageway passing through Stoke on Trent


Jan 24 2023

MPs gather in Westminster to rally behind A50/A500 road improvements

Roundtable to be held today (Tuesday 24th January) at 5.00pm in Parliament

Read more
An electric vehicle charging

Subscribe to Midlands Matters, the newsletter of the Midlands Engine