A significant package of measures to help UK manufacturers seize the opportunities provided by emerging technologies has been launched by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.
Investment totalling 151.5 million has been announced as part of the Governments targeted strategies for key sectors and markets. It will expand access to information, encourage take up of new technologies and address specific challenges faced by the aerospace sector. Advanced Manufacturing describes businesses which use a high level of design or scientific skills to produce technologically complex products and processes. Because of the specialised requirements involved, these are usually goods and associated services of high value.
Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said: At the heart of Britains knowledge economy is our manufacturing base. High-value, highly skilled and internationally successful businesses that have worked hard to secure a lead in hi-tech global supply chains. This practical package of measures will help equip British manufacturers, of all sizes and sectors, to take advantage of the advanced technologies and new market opportunities now shaping our low carbon industrial future. Its about giving them the support they need to create jobs in Britain and export the best of British manufacturing design, technology, skills and innovation around the world.
These investments in plastic electronics, the nuclear supply chain, aerospace, and silicon design are another important step towards the Governments vision for our economic future as set out in New Industry New Jobs. Key new measures include:
A total of 45 million funding to Rolls-Royce, which will see four new advanced manufacturing facilities built in the UK three in aerospace and one civil nuclear - creating and sustaining around 800 jobs;
The provision of 45 million from the low carbon element of the Strategic Investment Fund to support research and technology critical to the development of low carbon aircraft engine technology. This will be led by Rolls-Royce;
At least 40 million investment in SAMULET Research and Technology programme a collaborative aerospace project focusing on productivity and environmental improvements with 28.5 million from the Technology Strategy Board, 11.5 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and further support under discussion with regional bodies;
A 12 million expansion of the Printable Electronics Centre in Sedgefield which focuses on display technology, creating up to 1,500 jobs by 2014;
The Technology Strategy Board will invest a further 5 million in collaborative R&D projects as part of its High Value Manufacturing competition, in addition to the 24 million invested earlier this year;
A 4 million expansion of the highly successful Manufacturing Advisory Service to help a wider range of businesses improve efficiency and increase orders (in addition to the 4 million expansion announced as part of the Low Carbon Industrial Strategy);
Investment of 500,000 to support the development of a Centre of Excellence for Silicon Design in the South West;
The new Rolls-Royce advanced manufacturing plants will produce wide-chord fan blades for the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, disks in advanced alloys for fans and turbines of aero-engines, single crystal blade castings for high temperature aero-engine turbines, and components for civil nuclear.
The Governments investment in Britains advanced manufacturing capabilities is a continuing process. The work described in this document will build on measures already in place and be followed with further proposals in the coming months.