This will be the first of a national network of centres – to be established and run by the Technology Strategy Board – that will partner with universities and businesses to push forward cutting-edge research so that it can be swiftly turned into commercial opportunities.
The Coalition has made clear that it is banking on a manufacturing-led recovery and these tech and innovation centres are a “key part of our strategy to rebalance the economy”, explains Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. “The banking crisis made one thing completely clear: Britain needs a new kind of growth. We should be at the cutting edge of science, manufacturing and technology,” he says.
The Technology Strategy Board was allocated £200m of funding for the development of the centres in last year’s Comprehensive Spending Review, and today published a prospectus that will fast-track the creation of a centre focused on high-value manufacturing. It calls for business, academic and other interest groups to comment on the proposals and help shape how the centres will be developed.
What better time to be investing in manufacturing, when the end of 2010 saw the sector achieve its fastest growth in 16 years?
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