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.