The Technology and Innovation Centre initiative is part of the Government’s plan to grow the UK economy. The new centre in high value manufacturing will be the first of at least six Technology and Innovation Centres to be established by April 2013.
The Centre will capitalise on existing expertise and facilities established in the UK, bringing together seven institutions of excellence to better support UK manufacturing. The seven centres are:
· Advanced Forming Research Centre (University of Strathclyde)
· Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (University of Sheffield)
· Centre for Process Innovation (Wilton & Sedgefield)
· Manufacturing Technology Centre (Coventry)
· National Composites Centre (University of Bristol)
· Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (University of Manchester and Sheffield)
· Warwick Manufacturing Group (University of Warwick)
By incorporating the seven institutions, the HVM Technology and Innovation Centre will support a number of different industries including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, food & beverages, healthcare, aerospace, automotive, energy, chemicals and electronics.
The HVM Technology and Innovation Centre will commercialise business-led research and innovation that will help UK manufacturing businesses become more competitive on a world stage. As well as receiving funding from the Technology Strategy Board, direct contracts with UK business will form a significant part of the overall funding for the centre (1/3). The Centre will also be well positioned to secure funding from competitive Research and Development (R&D) grants (1/3), including EU funding.
Iain Gray the Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said:
“High value manufacturing is a priority for the Technology Strategy Board. The future of manufacturing in the UK needs to be high value, delivering strong financial performance, strategic importance, and positive social impact. The UK has some of the best manufacturing businesses in the world, the industry accounts for 12 per cent of GDP, around half of exports and in 2010 employed 2.5 million people in the UK. The new centre will help UK businesses stay at the leading edge of manufacturing technology and create and protect jobs long into the future”.
Secretary of State, Vince Cable said: “Manufacturing has a key role to play in economic growth and rebalancing the economy, in particular driving exports and productivity.
"The Government is supporting manufacturing through a modern industrial strategy fit for the 21st century. We are assisting manufacturing companies and their supply chains directly through the Regional Growth Fund and other schemes and supporting them to build strong businesses via our commitments to apprenticeships and fostering technology.
"We are also challenging the perceptions of what it is like to work in manufacturing and seeking to raise the status and profile of engineering.But we know there is always more to do. We will set out further proposals to support manufacturing over the next few weeks."
Peter Chivers, Chief Executive of the National Composites Centre said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for UK businesses in manufacturing. The new HVM Technology and Innovation Centre will become the go-to place for innovation in the UK manufacturing. Using the facilities and expertise from the seven institutions, the new centre will provide a compelling advantage for UK manufacturing. We have already received strong interest from UK businesses to use the service and will be working collaboratively with UK manufacturing businesses from today.”