Developing Competitiveness Through Investing In Innovation

27 Jan 2009

  • Technology Strategy Board to invest further £24 million in high value manufacturing.
  • Emphasis will be on innovation that will bring about a step change in international competitiveness.

The government-funded Technology Strategy Board is to invest a further £24 million in innovative research and development that will bring about major changes in the competitiveness of participating companies. 

This new funding is the second recent major investment in research and development in high value manufacturing by the Technology Strategy Board, after its announcement in August 2008 that it would invest £20 million in 27 innovative projects developing products, systems and processes incorporating clever technologies. 

The new competition - which opens this week - follows the launch in September 2008 of the government's new strategy for the UK's manufacturing sector, New Challenges, New Opportunities, which announced that the Technology Strategy Board would invest £24 million in research central to high value-added manufacturing.   

Peter Flinn, the Technology Strategy Board's Head of Technology, explained: "The challenge for UK manufacturers is to maintain competitiveness in a global environment where manufacturing often gravitates to countries with the lowest overall costs.  This means that we need to be continually innovative.  Against this background, the Technology Strategy Board's broad aim is to invest in UK manufacturing companies to maintain and develop their international competitiveness."

"We will therefore invest in research and development projects which, over their duration, can bring about major changes in the competitiveness of the participating companies," he continued.  "By major change we mean improvements of between 25% and 50% relative to current performance in areas such as overall manufacturing costs, whole life-cycle costs, whole life environmental impact and product performance, durability and reliability.  We are looking forward to receiving some exciting proposals."

On the timing of the new investment, Peter Flinn added: "Investment in innovation must be maintained during the economic downturn, to help ensure a successful recovery, to maintain global competitiveness and to ensure that UK manufacturing emerges from the downturn in good shape.  Innovation cannot be turned on quickly and, to secure our long term future, we need to invest properly in innovation now."

The competition closes on 30 April 2009 but the deadline for submitting initial expressions of interest is 26 February 2009.  Applicants are likely to be informed of the outcome of their application by the end of May.

Further information about the Technology Strategy Board's current research and development competitions can be found at:

 For further information please visit


Last updated on Friday 30 July 2010 at 14:13

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