The University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, is opening an office in Sheffield, United Kingdom, to provide local forging and forming houses with easy access to support from the research center located near Glasgow Airport in Scotland. Supported by Sheffield City Council and operating out of an office on the Olympic Legacy Park, the AFRC’s new base will effectively bring the research lab directly to the manufacturers. The office will help South Yorkshire companies tap into leading metallurgy capabilities, numerical and analytical process modeling tools, and some of the most advanced industry-scale forging and forming equipment in the world over 260 miles away in Scotland.

The decision to open its first office outside of Scotland marks a crucial stage in AFRC’s evolution as it continues to build relationships with the U.K. forging community ahead of the launch of FutureForge, a facility that, according to AFRC, includes the world’s most advanced hot-forging platform. FutureForge will stimulate collaboration with organizations across the forging supply chain and address some of the industry’s biggest challenges.

Sheffield was once the steelmaking capital of the world and is still home to hundreds of forging and forming houses extending to the West Midlands. The metals sector remains key to the U.K.’s economy and is critical to achieving the national objective of expanding high-value manufacturing.