UK manufacturing is receiving over £170 million in government funds to ‘sharpen’ Britain’s competitive edge and promote careers in industry.
A high value manufacturing technology and innovation centre, formed from seven research and technology facilities across the UK, will receive over £140 million over a six year period and is open for business.
The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will also run a competition of nearly £18 million, to fund products inspired by new discoveries and breakthroughs. And the TSB, together with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, will run a £15 million competition for investment into the research and development of low carbon vehicles.
The Government also launched See Inside Manufacturing, an initiative being piloted by automotive firms, which will open their factories and offices to students and young people to encourage them to consider careers in industry.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "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.
Steve Radley, director of policy at the Engineering Employers Federation, said: "Today's announcements are welcome in providing further information on how the Government will be working with industry to encourage innovation.
"But with economic headwinds increasing, manufacturers will need to hear more from Government soon if they are to make the investment we need to drive our economy forward."
Dr Tim Bradshaw of the CBI said the announcement was good news, adding: "This will secure its future well beyond the current spending review period and should give business the confidence to collaborate with some of our leading manufacturing research centres."