Sheffield firms well placed to hit banks’ R&D funding criteria

Posted on 22 Mar 2011 by The Manufacturer

You can't develop new products without R&D, and that needs funding, says Charles Turner of Made in Sheffield (pictured right). Speaking at the end of Week 3 of the Global Manufacturing Festival, he feels the banks have met him halfway.

“Sheffield has really delivered on the aims of the [Global Manufacturing] Festival with both engagement with global markets and providing inspiration for the next generation of engineers.

One thing that has come up at every event has been the requirement for UK to continue to be at the cutting edge of R&D. The need to keep the intellectual property in the UK by manufacturing here was also clearly laid out as the next generation of products are developed.

This plays to Sheffield’s reputation for quality and on-time delivery. However, this level of R&D will require funding and risk is still the preserve of entrepreneurs rather than the banks, as clearly spelt out by the ‘Better Business Finance’ Q&A session at the launch of with the Big Six Banks on March 15th.

However, the banks did indicate that a history of success and strong management at a company will help funding decisions even for R&D. Fortunately, Sheffield is well placed in both regards with the added benefits of two great research universities – Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield – and local manufacturing excellence a given. So it should be a great 21st century for Made in Sheffield.”

Charles Turner is managing director of industrial knives and machined blades manufacturer Durham Duplex, and chairman of the Made in Sheffield consortium.
See him quizzing the Business Banking Taskforce at