Government announces new innovation centre

Posted on 13 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

The Technology Strategy Board, the agency established by the Government in 2007 to promote technology-based enterprise, is to fund a new offshore renewable energy technology and innovation centre.

The government said that it is looking for organisations that are willing to lead or form part of a new £200m innovation centre. It will be the third of its kind to be established by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) – one focuses on high value manufacturing and the other on cell therapies. The government believes that the centres will be “drivers of future economic growth”, while attracting “substantial investment to establish world-leading capability and global impact in pre-commercial development.”

The new centre is expected to provide smaller companies with much better access to technical expertise, infrastructure, skills and equipment. Often it is the smaller firms that struggle with limited funds available to invest in R&D. It is also hoped that the new centre will make it easier for companies and those in the research base to collaborate, at the same time as attracting work and engagement from a wide cross-section of industry.

“The UK is a world leader in offshore engineering and our reputation makes us an excellent location for research in this area. It is vital we invest in renewable energy now to gain maximum benefits in the future,” said Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable. “This is an exciting opportunity to bid and become involved in supporting the growth of the UK economy,” he added.

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: “There is huge potential for growth in the sector and the prospect to generate billions of pounds for the economy while creating thousands of job opportunities at the same time.”

Marine power is further behind wind in terms of its development and deployment. However, it will be a key focus of the centre, drawing on many of the same science and engineering capabilities.

George Archer