Industry Centre

New project to kick-start regional growth

SAM (Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing) is an ERDF Project managed by The University of Sunderland. The aim of the project is to support product / process and technology developments within the SME Manufacturing base in the North East LEP area.

Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing


The University of Sunderland has received the European Structural and Investments Fund grant for the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing project. The project will help to improve the productivity and sustainability of manufacturing SMEs in the North East LEP area by finding solutions to their research, innovation and development challenges.   

Professor Elaheh Ghassemieh, Research lead and Principle Investigator on the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing project: “The Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing project is an ambitious and exciting opportunity to deliver cutting-edge research and innovation to regional SMEs. We’re looking forward to engaging with a broad selection of advanced manufacturing companies, including additive manufacturing, novel joining and assembly technologies, automation and robotics and digital manufacturing. The project’s aspirations align with Government’s national Industrial Strategy agenda and place the University of Sunderland at the forefront of manufacturing engineering research.  My role as the research lead with significant experience in research and knowledge transfer to industrial partners is to manage and guide our team of experienced researchers in the successful delivery of the latest solutions to industrial challenges for the benefit of the region’s manufacturers.”

Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Project Manager Claire Defty (previously Weir) has significant business experience both with process engineering and operational manufacture, having formerly managed the North East Productivity Alliance programme out of One North East. Claire commented: “My role is to engage with the North East LEP area’s SMEs and encourage them to apply for grants and work with the University to develop solutions and research that will help to move their business to the next level. With colleagues in the School of Engineering and at AMAP on board we have a ‘best in class’ research team on hand. We’re looking forward to supporting SMEs with overcoming blocks to growth that they are facing, whether that’s in automation, additive or digital manufacturing, Industry 4.0 or joining / assembly processes. My message is simple – get in touch, we have funding and expertise you can access to help you develop your manufacturing business.”  

Engagement Streams include:

Engagement Streams

Research Associates managed by AMAP (the University’s Institute for Automotive & Manufacturing Advanced Practice) will work with SMEs, providing technical support on their short to medium term innovation needs.

Roger O’Brien Head of AMAP 
said: “There will be over £1m invested into new technology that will support product and process research and development. Members of our AMAP team are highly experienced in design, supply chain, advanced manufacturing processes and maintenance. We’re looking forward to applying our expertise to the challenges facing SMEs to help them with develop their businesses. Not only will this benefit the individual businesses, it will also improve the sustainability and productivity of the region’s manufacturing sector as well as create opportunities for our engineering students and graduates.”

SAM Launch Event Image

The project had an official launch day held at AMAP on Thursday 28th June 2018

The objective of the launch sessions were to give an overview of the SAM project and its funded support and uniquely to give you as an SME Manufacturing decision maker the opportunity to network with a large number of ERDF project provisions across the North East. Further sessions will be scheduled in 2019.

This collaboration gives significant value in the networking element.
Representatives from RTC North (including the Scale-Up Project) /
NE-BIC / Digital Catapult / Materials Processing Institute / NBSL / BEEP / NEAA and many more will be at all three events to support you in understanding the funded landscape within the region.

For further information about this project please contact:

Claire Defty: Project Manager
Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing
University of Sunderland
The Industry Centre
Colima Avenue
Sunderland Enterprise Park West

Tel: 0191 515 3324
Mob: 07976 833 380


For general project enquiries please email:

The SAM Project website is now available at

This page was published on 10 December 2018