High value manufacturing awarded more ‘catapult’ funding

catapult300Manufacturers have welcomed an announcement that additional funding is to be made available for so-called ‘catapults’ for high value manufacturing.

As part of “a significant expansion” in catapult centres set up to help turn ideas into commercial realities, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced that an extra £7 million is being invested in the high value manufacturing catapult; a centre that in its first year was involved in 830 projects and involved around 2,000 small and medium sized enterprises.

EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said the announcement was good news for innovative manufacturers as the additional  funding “should help ensure the catapult can provide the kind of cutting-edge technologies companies would not otherwise have access to”. She added: “Looking forward we must now ensure that SMEs can easily work with catapult centres to develop new products and processes and, as the catapults evolve in the longer-term, their funding model should be developed to incentivise SME engagement.”

Established by the Technology Strategy Board, the catapults are a network of seven technology and innovation centres covering a range of sectors: High Value Manufacturing, Satellite Applications, Cell Therapy, Offshore Renewable Energy, Future Cities, Transport Systems and the Connected Digital Economy.

Speaking during a visit to the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell, Oxfordshire, Vince Cable also made a commitment to invest in two new catapults in 2015/16 – an Energy Systems Catapult and a Diagnostics for Stratified Medicine Catapult.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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