Autumn Statement: £89m for investment in Catapult network

Posted on 5 Dec 2014 by The Manufacturer

This week’s Autumn Statement includes additional support for High Value Manufacturing Catapult and a new National Formulation Centre.

The act has been praised, with members of the manufacturing community saying that the new money will lead to the next generation to create products in innovative areas from robotic tools and printable electronics to carbon fibre composites.

The money includes £61m will be invested across the High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres whose cutting-edge equipment and expertise is helping around 2,250 manufacturers create innovative technologies and products.

Other areas include a £28 million investment to create a new world-class research and development centre – the National Formulation Centre – specialising in the development of formulated products such as medicines and chemicals.

Netpark science and technology site at Sedgefield, County Durham will become home to the new National Formulation Centre, which ministers’ hope could lead to 12,500 new jobs across the UK when it opens in 2016.

The pledged cash will build laboratories at Netpark for scientists to develop the next generation of detergents, medicines and cosmetics.

Operated by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), it will be the headquarters of a national research and development network to develop life-changing products – such as washing detergents that can be used without water, lubricants to make engines run faster, and breakthrough medical treatments.

Chief Executive of Innovate UK, Iain Gray, said: “This Autumn Statement is a huge vote of confidence in innovative business up and down the country.”

“The extra support and new centre in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult that Innovate UK is setting up shows just how valuable the Catapults are to business, and how successful they have been in transforming the innovation landscape.”