The fund is designed to encourage companies to bring manufacturing back to the UK from abroad

�100m supply chain fund opens for bids

A £100m fund to help companies strengthen their domestic supply chains and bring manufacturing back to the UK has opened for bids.

The funding, announced in April,  is designed to provide research and development support, skills training and investment capital to encourage suppliers to ‘re-shore’ their businesses in the UK.

The money comes from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) and, according to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, five previous rounds of AMSCI funding have secured nearly half a billion pounds of public-private investment for 44 projects in the UK.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “A strong manufacturing sector is vital to a balanced economic recovery, and I want to ensure that Britain’s supply chains are up to the task of supporting the sector in the long term.

“Our industrial strategy, which has given business the confidence to invest, is paying dividends in the re-shoring we have seen so far. We will continue to support businesses to secure more highly skilled jobs and a stronger economy.”

Previous recipients of AMSCI funding have included technology for increasing the scale of 3D printing of metals; and re-shoring the manufacture of cats’ eyes for roads from overseas to the UK.

It has also included the creation of a ‘National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme’ led by the Aerospace Growth Partnership to address skills shortages and improve R&D collaboration in the aerospace sector. The £35m project aims to create nearly 5,000 jobs in the supply chain.

Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “This is another welcome boost for British manufacturing, which will have a positive impact on the wider economy.

“Our own research shows that in the last 3 years, 1 in 6 companies have re-shored production back to the UK with many turning to a UK-based supply chain for parts and components. High value manufacturing creates jobs and wealth here so I’m delighted to see the government getting behind it.”

Full competition details and information can be found on the AMSCI 2014 website.

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