Progress through collaboration

Posted on 1 Oct 2012 by The Manufacturer

Andrew Everett, head of transport at the Technology Strategy Board issues a call to arms on collaborative partnerships for low carbon success.

Andrew Everett, head of transport, Technology Strategy Board

Driven by sustained pressure to improve the environmental footprint of their products and processes, carmakers are embracing new low-carbon technologies in every area of their operations – as revealed by the technologies showcased at the recent CENEX LCV 12 event in September. If the UK is to have a strong future in automotive manufacturing, it must seize a significant role in providing the new low-carbon technologies the industry demands.

The key to achieving this is collaboration. When it comes to developing the next generation of sustainable technology, it’s important that people join forces when facing a complex challenge.

There are many ways in which TSB supports progress through collaboration. For example, our Launchpad initiative assists clusters of companies working on similar problems in a particular geographical area. Real-world proximity can still improve collaboration, even in today’s digitally interconnected world.

We also support Knowledge Transfer Networks and a wide variety of competitions offering grants for innovation at various stages, from feasibility studies to pilot projects. Most are open to groups as well as single organisations, but one – offering funding for collaborative R&D – is specifically designed to encourage the formation of consortia.

I urge all UK manufacturers to find out more about these programmes – and to consider what kind of partnerships might speed up innovation in their particular area of business.