Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres (IMRCs)
IMRCs were the funding model for innovative manufacturing centres from 2001 until 2009. The IMRCs covered a broad spectrum of research topics required to create or improve value adding processes, from business strategy and construction management to free-form fabrication processes and bio-processing. Individual IMRCs varied in width of remit from those with a narrow focus on a single topic, such as e-business, to those covering the full range of manufacturing research.
IMRCs received an initial block grant for five years, with potential for up to a further five year renewal. A total of 18 centres were funded under this scheme.
In 2009, the funding model changed to meet changing business requirements, and the EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing were created. The model for these new Centres incorporates the advantages of the IMRC funding model - stability of long-term funding to allow long-term planning and retention of expertise - whilst giving increased flexibility to respond quickly to new research results and react effectively to user-led research challenges.