High value manufacturing to receive £23m R&D boost

05 Dec 2007

The UK's manufacturing sector is to receive a boost following the Technology Strategy Board's decision to invest £23 million in highly innovative collaborative research and development projects in High Value Manufacturing.

Recognising that manufacturing today is concerned with the entire process from market assessment and product design through to manufacture, support and service delivery, the Technology Strategy Board stresses that future manufacturing technologies must address environmental concerns, the impact of the product in service and the responsibility for disposal and recycling. 

The Technology Strategy Board is, therefore, inviting applications for financial support for new research and development manufacturing projects that both develop technologies for high value products and address the through-life supportability of these technologies.

Explaining the background to the investment decision, the Technology Strategy Board's Chief Executive, Iain Gray, said "The fundamental challenge we are seeking to address is that of making all UK manufacturing high value.  Manufacturing is an important sector of the UK economy.  While it represents about 15% of GDP, it accounts for over 50% of our exports.  High Value Manufacturing in the UK has a bright future, but only by being competitive in the world's open and unregulated markets."

He added "Future productivity and global competitiveness depend upon innovation and high value-added activities.  The aim of the Technology Strategy Board is to support the research, development and exploitation of technology for the benefit of the UK economy and to improve the quality of life.  We are therefore delighted to invest in this important area."

Participation is invited from companies in a wide range of industries - Aerospace, Automotive, Biotechnology, Chemicals, Construction, Consultancies, Drinks, Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Food Processing, General Engineering, Infrastructure & Facilities Management, Medical Systems, Metals, Pharmaceuticals and Service Industries.  In particular, the Technology Strategy Board would like to encourage projects that can demonstrate benefits to a number of business sectors, and ideally should include at least one partner with defined end-user needs.

The projects, which can last for 2 to 3 years, can range from small, highly focussed basic research projects, aimed at establishing technical feasibility, through to applied research and experimental development projects.

The High Value Manufacturing competition is part of the Technology Strategy Board's Autumn 2007 call for proposals in a number of innovation and technology areas.

Applicants must register their intention to apply for funding by 11 January 2008 and the final closing date for applications is 14 February 2008. Further information is available at www.technologyprogramme.org.uk

Download pdf of full press release including notes for editors 


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