Ministers backing UK manufacturing from idea, to lab, to market
The Government underscored its commitment to world leading manufacturing in the UK today with the announcement of the country’s first Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC).
Today’s announcement is a key part of the Government’s Growth Review, targeting the expansion of Britain’s manufacturing sector and positioning the UK as Europe’s leading exporter of high value goods.
The High Value Manufacturing TIC will be formed from a group of research and technology facilities from across the country, with Rotherham, which the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Business visited today, one of the seven centres of excellence. It will provide an integrated capability and embrace all forms of manufacture using metals and composites, in addition to process manufacturing technologies and bio-processing. It will draw on excellent university research to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging manufacturing technologies.
This is the first of an elite network of Technology and Innovation Centres that will be established by the Technology Strategy Board with over £200m of Government investment overall. Other centres will be founded and announced in due course, each in technology areas of high growth potential.
The Deputy Prime Minister said:
“The announcement of the first Technology and Innovation Centre is a major early milestone in our ambition to rebalance the economy. It will bring significant benefits to Rotherham, Teesside, Glasgow, Coventry, Warwick and Bristol, and to the country as a whole. I believe that the UK should be at the forefront of science, engineering and manufacturing, and the £200m we have committed to centres like this over the next four years is a symbol of the Government’s commitment to supporting this.
“I am confident that the High Value Manufacturing Technology and Innovation Centre will blaze a trail for British industry, showing how our country’s hard work, invention and expertise can be exploited to lead us through the economic recovery into a prosperous future.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“Manufacturing is vital to the country’s economic stability and our potential to achieve growth. It generates £140 billion a year, accounting for 55 per cent of total UK exports – but it has considerably greater potential. That’s why I am throwing my weight behind this package – to help Britain reach its potential.
“The Technology Innovation Centre will help to equip UK industry with the ability to capitalise on the future global market opportunities by drawing on leading edge research and will form a key part of the Government’s work to rebalance the UK economy and create new high-value private sector jobs.”
“The investment in the new centre will further bridge the gap between universities and businesses, helping to commercialise the outputs of Britain’s world-class research base.”
The Government also announced additional support for manufacturing today.
- An extra £7million so that the Manufacturing Advisory Service can specifically focus on supply chain development. This is in addition to the £50m, already announced for the delivery of MAS over the next three years. The reformed MAS will be available from 1 January 2012, three months earlier than originally planned. The new service builds on the current expert support and will aid manufacturing growth by enabling increased productivity and innovation.
- Nine new university-based Centres for Innovative Manufacturing are to be established with Government funding of £45 million through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). These new centres will combine inventive research and business acumen to develop the sorts of innovative ideas taken forward to commercialisation through Technology and Innovation Centres.
- New Fellowships offering up to 5 years of support for researchers who have the potential to be future manufacturing research leaders in their field. The Fellowships will support academics who have recently moved from industry, or people in industry, involved in innovation, looking to move into academia.