The UK Technology Strategy Board announced the first Technology and Innovation Centre in high value manufacturing (HVM) is open for business. The TSB will invest £140 million over six years, with the aim of stimulating manufacturing in the UK, reducing the risk of innovation for new and established UK manufacturing businesses and attracting inward investment.
The centre is the first of at least six to be established by April 2013. It will capitalise on existing expertise and facilities, bringing together seven institutions to support manufacturing.
The seven existing institutions that will be rolled into the manufacturing centre 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 manufacturing centre will support a number of different industries including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, food and beverages, healthcare, aerospace, automotive, energy, chemicals and electronics.
The manufacturing Technology and Innovation Centre will commercialise business-led research and innovation. As well as receiving funding from the Technology Strategy Board, direct contracts with UK business are expected to provide one third of the funding. The Centre is also expected to get one third of its funding from grants, including EU grants.
Peter Chivers, Chief Executive of the National Composites Centre said the centre will become the” go-to place” for innovation in the 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.”
The TSB will oversee the technology and innovation centres. High value manufacturing is the first to open, and centres for cell therapy and offshore renewable energy have also been announced. The government has committed at least £200 million over the four years. The £140 million allocated for the high value manufacturing technology and innovation centre covers six years.