A significant package of measures to help UK manufacturers seize the opportunities provided by emerging technologies was launched today by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.
Investment totalling £151.5m has been announced as part of the Government’s targeted strategies for key sectors and markets. It will expand access to information, encourage take up of new technologies, and address specific challenges faced by the aerospace sector.
‘Advanced Manufacturing’ includes businesses which use a high level of design or scientific skills to produce technologically complex products and processes. Given the specialised requirements involved, these are usually goods and associated services of high value.
Key measures from the package include: a £40m investment in the SAMULET Research and Technology programme, a collaborative aerospace project focusing on productivity and environmental improvements; a £4m expansion of the Manufacturing Advisory Service to help a wider range of businesses improve efficiency and increase orders; and a £45m funding package to Rolls Royce which will see four new advanced manufacturing facilities built in the UK.
The proposed Rolls Royce plants will produce wide-chord fan blades for the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, disks in advanced alloys for fans and turbines of aero-engines, single crystal blade castings for high temperature aero-engine turbines, and components for civil nuclear.
Of the package, Lord Mandelson said: “At the heart of Britain’s knowledge economy is our manufacturing base. This practical package of measures will help equip British manufacturers, of all sizes and sectors, to take advantage of the technologies and new market opportunities now shaping our low carbon industrial future.”
“It’s about giving them the support they need to create jobs in Britain, and export the best of British manufacturing design, technology, skills, and innovation around the world.”