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The Engineering & Manufacturing Network (EMN) is delighted to announce the extension of its long running partnership with the University of Sunderland’s Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Project.

The University of Sunderland, via AMAP: The Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice, has long been an ambassador for the region’s manufacturing industry and has supported both the network and our flagship EMCON show for several years.

Over the last four years the SAM Project, supported in part by ERDF funding, has assisted the implementation of innovative product and process development and the introduction of advanced manufacturing technology within the SME manufacturing base across the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NE LEP) area, from the AMAP facilities at The Industry Centre, on the outskirts of Sunderland.

Kaye Collins, Network Manager at EMN, said: “I am delighted that the SAM Project has chosen to take up our Silver Sponsorship package.

“Over the past four years, the SAM project has enabled businesses across our region to develop new strategies, technologies, products and processes. The support of their technical experts, all with relevant industrial knowledge, provides businesses with the opportunity to draw upon significant resource, backed up and access to the latest facilities and machinery, as well as the opportunity to access grant funding. Businesses have increased efficiencies, improved manufacturing processes and introduced new products which may not have been possible without the support of SAM.”

The SAM Project is a direct collaboration between ERDF, which has provided £5.77m of funding and the University of Sunderland, which is managing and, alongside industry, investing £5.15m in delivery of the project.

The support includes matched grant funding for eligible businesses of up to £50,000 as well as fully funded technical support to help participants explore and invest in the latest industry 4.0 technologies to become more sustainable and drive business growth.

In addition to the expertise and grant capital, the project has invested more than £1m in the latest in industry leading equipment to drive engagement with advanced technologies, including 3D printers, I4 rigs and VR/AR equipment to which businesses can apply their own manufacturing processes and achieve significant improvements with the project’s support.

The SAM Project has supported EMCON since its inception and this year is bringing along a number of its inspirational manufacturing SMEs to exhibit at the show as part of its very own ‘SAM Village’.

Roger O’Brien, Project & Technical Lead at the SAM Project, said: “We’re thrilled to be once again sponsoring EMCON and this year for the very first time bringing the Engineering & Manufacturing Conference to be part of the event throughout the day. We are also very much looking forward to seeing the SAM Village brought to life at this year’s event.

“The project has provided funding and support to hundreds of SMEs over recent years, helping create hundreds of jobs and boosting the regional economy. The SAM village will help shine a light on some of the pioneering projects our businesses have led on over recent years.”

Ben Gilhespy, Director of Operations at EMN, added: “Our work with the University of Sunderland, AMAP and the SAM Project since its inception has allowed many of our businesses to access the best of industry support and their continued engagement at EMCON, recognising the importance to industry of the show, also continues to highlight their dedication to the sector.”

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