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Interim Evaluation of NMIS (National Manufacturing Institute Scotland)


The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) is a significant recent addition to the advanced manufacturing support landscape in Scotland. Operated by the University of Strathclyde, it is a key element of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, which seeks to achieve national economic growth and prosperity by helping to grow Scotland’s manufacturing sector. This was expected to be achieved through a combination of support for existing Scottish based manufacturers and through the attraction of inward investment.


The study was largely a process review of the approval process and period since support was delivered in 2020. The approach involved: desk research covering approval papers, background research, appraisal and performance data, 46 stakeholder interviews, 19 in depth interviews with companies and an online business survey completed by 50 companies.


The development and approval process for the project was considered to be positive. The facility was opened effectively, especially given construction coincided with the pandemic. There has been mixed performance on SMART objectives to date with positive progress on the milestones, skills and R&D measures but weaker performance on SME engagement, capital investment and sales from innovation (though it was recognised the latter two are longer term outcomes). Company satisfaction was high with 64% of companies either satisfied or very satisfied with the overall support received and this increased to 78% satisfaction around technical support. The partnership approach to the project was seen to be working well with minor changes to communication to ensure consistent understanding of performance was understood. The key challenge recognised was the potential need for ongoing public sector funding typical of a number of university research centres like Catapults and Fraunhofer Centres.


A small number of minor recommendations were made mainly focused on improvements in ongoing data collection as well as some changes to governance processes and communication.

Author Optimat Limited
Published Year 2024
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Construction, Food and drink, Textiles
  • Internationalisation
    Inward investment
  • Other