The government has announced that leading UK businesses, researchers and manufacturers will benefit from nearly £1 billion in funding for advanced innovation. The funding is to further propel the UK’s seven high value manufacturing catapult centres, which are fuelling advanced innovation across the country.
The news of the £780 million investment follows the £180 million announced by Theresa May for centres in the North East last month, taking total funding to almost £1 billion.
Many forward-thinking and technological centres driving innovation in Britain will gain funding, including £270.9 million for the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry and Warwick Manufacturing Group, and £96 million for the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) in Strathclyde.
“Innovation is a risky business. By removing risk and providing access to expertise and the tools of innovation, the HVM Catapult plays a key role in boosting the performance of manufacturers across the UK,” said Allan Cook, chair of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.
The manufacturing sector remains increasingly concerned about the industry’s future post-Brexit; therefore the funding is a vote of confidence in the sector, and could encourage British businesses to continue to utilise their place as world-leading in manufacturing innovation.
“In their first five years the catapults have supported around 3,000 small businesses to develop and exploit new technologies. They operate more than £850 million world-class facilities and are also training hundreds of apprentices and doctoral students, such as at the High Value Manufacturing Catapult where in the last year 900 apprentices have gained invaluable practical experience with cutting-edge technologies used in modern manufacturing,” explained Dr Ian Campbell, interim executive chair of Innovate UK.
The High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult is the catalyst for the future growth and success of advanced manufacturing in the UK. Its 7 Technology and Innovation centres work with companies of all sizes to bridge the gap in – and accelerate the activity between – technology concept and commercialisation, while its centres offer access to leading edge equipment, expertise and an environment of company collaboration.