A University of Sunderland project which aims to support manufacturers across the North East has secured an extra £6m in funding. The university’s Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Project (SAM), which was due to end in December 2020, has provided £800,000 in matched-funding - as well as practical and research support to more than 200 SMEs across the region. The programme is now set to continue its work through to 2023 after securing an extra £6m. Professor Jon Timmis, deputy vice-chancellor (Commercial) at the university, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant to continue the important work in our support of manufacturing in the North East. "The university is committed to ensuring we support businesses in this sector to innovate and grow. The work in SAM is critically important as we start to plan recovery due to the result of the pandemic." The project was originally part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund– with a £2.6m commitment - and the University of Sunderland and industry, which invested £2.5m. This extension will see the technical research and development team grow. Ken Teears, project manager at SAM, said: "During the last two years, we’ve provided funding and support to scores of businesses and have witnessed first-hand the impact this has had, from safeguarding and creating jobs to transforming entire production lines."Now, more than ever, manufacturers need our support and this funding boost will go a long way to helping many of the region’s SMEs adapt and grow as we look to get through this crisis and keep Britain’s economy moving."