M62 link for laser technology

October 3--As reported in the Manchester Evening News, a new alliance between the universities of Manchester and Liverpool aims to put the northwest in pole position as the leading region in the country for laser engineering.

And the joint venture, which allows the pooling of talent and resources at the two universities, will give a much needed boost to key industries in the region, including aerospace and biotechnology, says the North West Regional Development Agency.

The use of lasers in manufacturing is currently under exploited nationally and is needed urgently by UK industry if it is to remain competitive, says NWDA, which is funding the ?2.5m scheme from the North West Science Fund, which it set up to support high value science projects that will improve science and technology in the northwest.

Funding will include provision of the latest equipment for laser processing and is set to establish the northwest as the leader in this field.

Mark Hughes, NWDA executive director of enterprise, innovation, and skills, said, "This innovative project will build on the northwest's excellent reputation as a leading region for scientific development.

The expertise of the universities combined with the state-of-the-art equipment will lead to the development of laser processes that will benefit industry within the region.

"The NWDA is committed to driving forward the regional economy by improving the efficiency and competitiveness of manufacturing."

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