Saying hello to SAM

With manufacturing accounting for 15.3% of the North East area’s GVA, providing a massive 11.3% of employment, innovation within our manufacturing industries represent a huge opportunity to deliver higher productivity. 

The Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Project supports the implementation of product and process innovation – able to plug gaps that could hinder productivity.  The initiative – a collaboration between ERDF and the University of Sunderland – provides significant academic resource and a team of industrial and research specialists able to deliver practical and research projects all fully-funded to eligible SMEs.

The project encourages applications from SME manufacturers, applying either as sole applicants or collaboratively, who are working on developments that will support the growth of new products and processes.

Support includes:

  • Technical expertise
  • Research and development
  • Factories and kit
  • Grant funding
  • Events and workshops

Manufacturing SMEs (or those intending to manufacture) enrolled onto the project, benefit from up to 15 days’ worth of fully-funded Technical Research and Development and access to five micro-factories housed within the University’s Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP).

The micro-factories comprise over £1m worth of industry-leading equipment and machinery, including 3D printers, I4 rigs and VR/AR equipment and software to encourage SME engagement with advanced technology.

In addition, the project runs Open Houses once a month for SME manufacturers to visit the project and see first-hand the support on offer. To find out more about the SAM Project and the support on offer visit