BIS to assist manufacturers in boosting IT capabilities

Posted on 3 Oct 2011 by The Manufacturer

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills today announced that it will dedicate £145 million to improving Britain’s e-infrastructure.

Manufacturing, engineering and design have been identified as industries to benefit from the fund which is targeted at areas of the economy most in need of IT infrastructure advances in order to achieve growth.

The £145m pledge will provide industry with the latest technology and facilities for development but is also designed to reassure global investors that the UK is a forward looking economy in which to invest.

The government money will primarily be invested in the following areas:
Software development

Computer power

Data storage

Wide bandwidth networks

Cyber security and authentication

People and skills

The allocation of funding has been strongly influenced by the work of Professor Dominic Tildesley from Unilever. He has been helping government identify priority areas for future investment in the UK’s computing infrastructure.

The UK Research Councils are to develop full business cases to qualify for their shares in the new fund which is being set aside in addition to the ring-fenced science budget.

Confirming the availability of this funding, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:”Significantly improving computing infrastructure is vital to driving growth and giving businesses the confidence to invest in the UK. It has the potential to significantly improve the design and manufacturing process, encouraging innovation across a whole range of sectors.”

The emerging technology area of High Performance Computing will form a unifying strand to the new e-infrastructure investment and research. Commenting on this Intel Director for Public Sector Tristan Wilkinson said: “We naturally welcome the Government’s announcement to make a significant investment in high-performance computing, a technology that is at the leading edge of computing, innovation, and growth. This signals a clear commitment to a future that embraces science, research and technology, and provides confidence for industry to invest in Britain.”

To read more about High Performance Computing for manufacturing see our blog Economic recovery and industry IT