Dionne Clark
Dionne Clark
Richard Bell

Festive Focus: Bdaily meets Dionne Clark from the £5.1m SAM Project

Can you introduce yourself and your business to our readers?

“Dionne Clark. I am the financial compliance officer working on an exciting new Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Project (SAM) which is a £5.1m project to support the implementation of product and process development and the introduction of technology within SME manufacturing companies based in the NE LEP area.

“ERDF funding of £2.6m and the University of Sunderland are managing and investing £2.5m in delivery of this project.

“The University of Sunderland have committed significant academic resources and recruited industrial specialists to support the delivery of both practical and research support as well as offering eligible SMEs access to £1m of advanced technology equipment such as an I4 rig and 3D printing.

“The project has in excess of £800k providing match funded grants to support capital equipment / product validation / tooling and other financial inhibitors to driving strategic development of both product and process.”

What was your company’s biggest achievement of the year?

“As the programme is in its infancy we have had a very busy few months setting up the infrastructure, recruiting our industry specialists and purchasing the fantastic range of capital equipment that we will be using to support SME product and/or process development projects.

“Even in these early stages we have engaged with nearly 100 manufacturing SMEs from a broad range of sectors and already actively working on nearly 30 detailed projects covering the creation of prototypes, research and development of innovative new products and processes.

“We have also launched the grant funding early this month and we are currently accepting expressions of interest from eligible manufacturing SMEs.”

What are your company’s plans for the New Year?

“There will be no slow start for us, we will be hitting the ground running for 2019 with first round of Grant Panel reviews and off course continuing working on the many exciting projects.

“We will also be planning our full project launch event to showcase our facilities and equipment with live demos and mini workshops/seminars as well as offer manufacturing SMEs the opportunity to speak with industry/research specialists.”

What are you plans for the festive season?

“I will be gearing myself up to host 13 family members for Christmas Day lunch followed by a very relaxed few days watching my favourite boxsets before heading to London for New Year!”

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