Adding value and innovating

08 May 2008

Technology Strategy Board outlines its proposls to ensure UK manufacturing remains competitive

  • Investment in innovation required if the UK is to remain one of the world's leading manufacturing nations.
  • Technology Strategy Board to invest in UK manufacturing companies to help them maintain and develop their international competitiveness.

UK businesses must respond to the challenges facing the manufacturing sector from global competition by accelerating its move towards high value products, processes and services. 

This was the message from the Technology Strategy Board today as it outlined its proposals to invest in the development of the UK's manufacturing industry.  At the launch of its three-year strategic plan in London, the Technology Strategy Board today set out its proposals for UK industry to respond to the challenges brought about by the lowering of economic barriers to trade, the reduction in transport costs, the effect of communications technology - and the gravitation of manufacturing to countries of lowest overall cost.

Speaking at today's launch, the Technology Strategy Board's lead technologist for advanced manufacturing, Peter Flinn, said: "Manufacturing in comparatively high wage economies such as the UK, has had to change radically to remain globally competitive. Rapid change will continue for the foreseeable future and the continuing development path for manufacturing in the UK is one where its composition will continue to move away from the traditional areas towards high-value, knowledge-intensive goods.  The emphasis of activity will not just be on production, but will embrace provision of lifetime service, around a manufactured product."

In its strategy paper High Value Manufacturing 2008 - 2011, the Technology Strategy Board explains that the challenge for UK manufacturers is to remain competitive in this changing environment, which in turn translates into being 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. This aim will be achieved by focusing on innovation in four broad areas, that may be regarded as the four pillars of high value manufacturing:

  • Products
  • Processes
  • Service Systems
  • Value Systems

The key recommendations of the strategy document are that the Technology Strategy Board should, over the period 2008 - 2011, invest in the development of UK manufacturing industry by:

  • Running broadly-based collaborative research & development programmes, as well as scoping studies, proof-of-concept and demonstration projects, covering a wide range of industries;
  • Investing in knowledge transfer particularly through engagement with business and the science base;
  • Supporting skills development;
  • Promoting international engagement by investing in scoping studies which identify issues and barriers to the global success of UK manufacturing

Peter Flinn added: "The overall aim is for the Technology Strategy Board to invest in the development of the UK to maintain its place as one of the world's leading manufacturing locations.  The UK has a broad range of world-class manufacturing companies, both small and large, and has demonstrated how a nation can evolve from a traditional manufacturing base by applying modern manufacturing philosophies and by applying technology.  We want to present the UK as a country where high value manufacturing can prosper."

Download full pdf press release - including notes for editors 


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Last updated on Monday 19 May 2008 at 12:39

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