Many of the projects in Glasgow’s greenprint for investment are obviously "green". The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMIDS) is slightly different, as sustainable development principles have been embedded into a mainstream economic development project.

This is very much in tune with the Scottish Government's thinking: the just published draft national planning framework says: "The way we live, learn, work and play in the future will need to be consistent with our ambition to achieve net zero emissions and nature recovery."

The draft NPF also refers to creating: "sustainable places, where we reduce emissions and restore and better connect biodiversity;" and "productive places, where we have a greener, fairer and more inclusive wellbeing economy;".

The Project

The project is intended as a centre of excellence and innovation.

A key part of that vision is the National Institute of Manufacturing Scotland (NMIS). That includes the University of Strathclyde's Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), one of only seven High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres in the UK, offering business access to world-class equipment, expertise and collaborative working opportunities.

A partnership has already been signed with Boeing to research the manufacture of metallic components.

The pharmaceutical industry is also part of the vision, with the UK's first Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre focusing on collaboration to find innovative new production processes.

Sustainable development

AMIDS addresses many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Good health and well-being;
  • Affordable and clean energy;
  • Decent work and economic growth;
  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure;
  • Sustainable cities and communities;
  • Responsible consumption and production;
  • Climate action; and
  • Life on land.

5th generation heat network

Work has already started on installation of a 5th generation heat network, to supply low carbon heat and hot water to occupiers. A 90+% carbon reduction is forecast, in comparison to use of traditional gas boilers.

It involves distribution of water at close to ambient ground temperature. Water normally headed for the White Cart river will go to a new energy centre being built at a Scottish Water site. Low temperature heat is extracted, then distributed through underground pipes. At each building connected to the network, low carbon heat pumps will provide heating and hot water.

The Future

AMIDS is an exemplar for sustainable development principles being integral to the design process, rather than green tinges being added at the marketing stage.

It will be exciting to see the successes in years to come of AMIDS as a centre of manufacturing innovation.


Neil Collar