The UK Government has committed over half a billion pounds to foster innovation and new breakthrough technologies.
The £780 million pledge will boost research and development across eight ‘Catapult’ centres across the country, from clean tech and energy systems to advanced manufacturing and gene therapy. The centres have been in operation since 2011 and this latest announcement secures their future in the medium term.
The government is hoping the funds will help create fertile ground for new innovations, high-skilled jobs and industries to blossom.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said: “It is by backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs that we will continue this progress and build an economy fit for the future. Today’s £780 million investment will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future, and the better, highly-paid jobs we urgently need.”
£180 million will support the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the Centre for Process Innovation in north-east England.
The offshore centre, which also has a site in Scotland, has become a hub for businesses to research and test new technologies in the offshore wind industry. GE chose the site to test its new 12 megawatt turbine over the next five years. The Haliade-X will be the most powerful turbine in the world when it’s brought to market in 2021.
A large chunk of the cash, £270.9 million, will be spent in the West Midlands to fund the Manufacturing Technology Centre and Energy Systems Catapult over the next five years.
Business Secretary Greg Clark added: “This government wants to make the UK the most innovative nation in the world and the investment in our world leading catapult network will play a key role in building on UK strengths, bringing new ideas and products to market and helping drive local economies across the UK.”
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