Government announces opening of high-value manufacturing innovation centre

12 October 2011


Posted by Michelle Devonshire

A new facility committed to the development of the UK's high-value manufacturing industry is now open.

The first national Technology and Innovation Centre has been launched and will receive a total of £140 million in Government funding over the next six years.

According to the Technology Strategy Board - which is operating the resource - has stated it will reduce the risk posed by innovation for small firms in the field and attract international investment, as part of a network of six centres being established between now and April 2013.

It is intended to stimulate the manufacturing sector and is based at the University of Sheffield, with Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, suggesting that the centre will ensure the UK industry remains competitive in the future.

Business Secretary Vince Cable stated: "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."

He also revealed that a £18 million Technology Inspired Innovation competition is being run by the Technology Strategy Board in order to support projects that are making breakthroughs in areas such as nanoscience, advanced materials and biosciences, while the board and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles are working together on a £15 million contest focused on low-carbon automotive development.

Dr Cable also outlined plans recently for the Government to spend over £20 million boosting skills in a series of key industries, including renewable energy, nuclear power and healthcare.

Employers have been awarded £11 million worth of Government-matched funding through the Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF) to increase training partnerships, develop professional standards and offer apprenticeships.

"Sustained economic recovery will depend on our ability to excel in the high tech skills that our most innovative companies need to compete in the globalised economy," the Business Secretary declared.

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