As a result of the 2009 High Value Manufacturing – Step Change in Competitiveness competition for funding, the UK Government-backed Technology Strategy Board is investing additional £5m in 22 new research and development feasibility projects aimed to support innovation in high value manufacturing.
On completion of the competion’s assessment process, in July 2009, the Board invested the available £24m budget in 33 projects, but was unable to finance other high-quality proposals.
The additional funds, provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), will now allow the Board to award 22 separate consortia (developing these feasibility projects), with grants ranging from £60,000 to £350,000 and benefiting over 50 UK companies, about half of which are small and medium enterprises.
The high value manufacturing innovation feasibility projects cover a broad range of enabling technologies, from digital printing to the manufacture of medical implants using laser melting techniques, and from robot-enabled 3D precision assembly to the development of special inks to improve the security of high-value branded products.
A condition of the projects, which are designed to be relatively short term, requiring work to be completed by the end of 2010, was that they should begin to address the challenges set out in two of the Government’s key policy documents for 2009, namely New Industry, New Jobs and the Low Carbon Industrial Strategy.