Cash boost for manufacturers

UK manufacturing is to receive a boost following the Technology Strategy Board’s decision to invest £23m in collaborative research and development projects in high value manufacturing.

Currently, manufacturing is concerned with 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.

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

‘The fundamental challenge we are seeking to address is that of making all UK manufacturing high value,’ said Iain Gray, The Technology Strategy Board’s chief executive. ‘Manufacturing is an important sector of the UK economy. While it represents about 15 per cent of GDP, it accounts for over 50 per cent 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.’

Participation is invited from companies from all engineering sectors. In particular, the Technology Strategy Board says it 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 two to three 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