UK manufacturing industries get £51million boost
A £51million investment to ensure the UK stays at the leading edge of manufacturing research was unveiled today by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts.
The investment forms part of the Advanced Manufacturing strand of the Government's Growth Review and aims to help stimulate growth in manufacturing research in areas such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace and the automotive industry.
According to Willets, £45m will fund nine Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centres for Innovative Manufacturing and a further £6m will support the manufacturing pioneers of the future.
The national centres, run by universities including Nottingham, Cranfield and Strathclyde, will focus on emerging sciences including biological pharmaceuticals, novel composite technologies and intelligent automation in a bid to generate new ideas that will fuel growth.
"Partnerships between higher education and industry are increasingly essential drivers of innovation, opportunity and national prosperity," said Willetts. "These new centres will combine inventive research and business acumen to develop the high tech manufacturing industries we need to secure sustainable growth."
The Minister said the centres will work closely with businesses on tackling major research challenges and are being backed by leading industry partners including GSK, Rolls Royce and IBM, as well as a range of high tech small and medium sized enterprises.
The Government also announced a £200m investment to create an elite network of Technology Innovation Centres across the UK.
"Manufacturing is vital to the country's economic stability and our potential to achieve growth," said Business Secretary Vince Cable, who visited the first TIC in Rotherham today with Prime Minister Nick Clegg. "It generates £140billion a year, accounting for 55% 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."
According to Cable, the new centre will further bridge the gap between universities and businesses and help to commercialise the outputs of Britain's world class research base.
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