UK government adds GBP 20m to help manufacturing

The UK government’s Technology Strategy Board is to invest GBP 20 million in new research and development projects that will help British manufacturers to stay ahead of international competition.

The UK government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is to invest in UK manufacturing to help companies maintain and develop their international competitiveness GBP 20 million will be made available for research and development projects that will help British manufacturers to stay ahead of international competition.

The TSB investments will support new research that will develop technologies, products and systems incorporating innovative technology and know-how.

Commenting on the decision to invest in these projects, Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson said: "Manufacturing is a vital sector of the UK economy, accounting for over 50% of our exports.

And the UK is the world’s sixth biggest manufacturer.

Given the UK’s high-wage economy, future productivity and global competitiveness depend upon our ability to develop high-quality, clever technology and products".

He continued: "Major investment in innovative research and development, such as the twenty million pounds announced today, will enable us to maintain and improve the quality of the UK’s manufacturing capability in key areas such as aerospace, healthcare, energy and recycling".

Chief executive of the TSB, Iain Gray, said: "There are some great examples of manufacturing technologies and innovation happening here in the UK.

These successful projects reflect the changing nature of manufacturing and we are investing in the UK to enable it to maintain its place as one of the worlds leading manufacturing locations".

Applications for support were received from a very wide range of industries.

The successful projects include research and development in areas such as the following.

* Carbon-neutral construction products.

* Mouldable auto parts from sustainable resources.

* Energy efficient and environmentally friendly recycling of composites.

* Advanced ‘health management’ of wind turbine transmissions.

* Intelligent management of electrical power systems.

* The manufacture of sustainable prefabricated housing from renewable materials.

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest GBP 19m in these projects, while the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is to support four of the projects with a further GBP 1m investment.

Taking into account the matched contributions from the private sector businesses involved, the total value of the research and development projects is in excess of GBP 40m.

The funding of these projects is the latest investment by the Technology Strategy Board and follows their Autumn 2007 call for proposals in a number of innovation and technology areas.

Announcements about further investments are likely to be made shortly.

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