Tuesday, October 11, 2011

News: First Technology and Innovation Centre open for business


The Technology Strategy Board has announced that the first Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) in high value manufacturing is open for business.

The High Value Manufacturing TIC has been formed from a group of research and technology facilities from across the country, with The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing and the Nuclear AMRC in Rotherham, two of the seven centres of excellence.

Launched in Rotherham in March, the TIC will be a national focus for advanced manufacturing research and development, with the scale and readiness to make an early and significant contribution to UK economic growth.

The centre will support a number of different industries including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, food & beverages, healthcare, aerospace, automotive, energy, chemicals and electronics. It will commercialise business-led research and innovation that will help UK manufacturing businesses become more competitive on a world stage.

The government has committed £140m for the centre over a six year period and funding will come via the Technology Strategy Board. The centres will also secure direct contracts with UK business and funding from competitive Research and Development grants.

Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: "High value manufacturing is a priority for the Technology Strategy Board. The future of manufacturing in the UK needs to be high value, delivering strong financial performance, strategic importance, and positive social impact.

"The UK has some of the best manufacturing businesses in the world, the industry accounts for 12 per cent of GDP, around half of exports and in 2010 employed 2.5 million people in the UK. The new centre will help UK businesses stay at the leading edge of manufacturing technology and create and protect jobs long into the future."

Secretary of State, Vince Cable added: "Manufacturing has a key role to play in economic growth and rebalancing the economy, in particular driving exports and productivity.

"The Government is supporting manufacturing through a modern industrial strategy fit for the 21st century. We are assisting manufacturing companies and their supply chains directly through the Regional Growth Fund and other schemes and supporting them to build strong businesses via our commitments to apprenticeships and fostering technology.

"We are also challenging the perceptions of what it is like to work in manufacturing and seeking to raise the status and profile of engineering.But we know there is always more to do. We will set out further proposals to support manufacturing over the next few weeks."

AMRC website


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