A new fund scheme for West Midlands SMEs is aiming to award 200 grants over the next two years in a bid to help manufacturing businesses boost their competitiveness.
The Metrology for Industry initiative, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through Coventry University Enterprises, is being launched to assist organisations in the region looking to improve accuracy and efficiency in production processes.
Companies will be able to take advantage of grants to help with the cost of engaging an industry expert in metrology, defined as the science of measurement.
They will review current manufacturing processes and highlight areas where metrology could enhance the use of resources and equipment.
Petar Stojić from Coventry University Enterprises said there is an increasing business interest and awareness of metrology as a cost-effective business improvement tool.
“The need for precise measurement affects almost ev
ery part of everyday life and business, so it follows that if an SME excels in this area then consumer confidence will grow as well,” he said.
“We hope and expect that this new grant scheme will prove a popular and essential business support initiative over the next couple of years,” he added.
Further grants of up to £10,000 will then be available to access additional specialist support to follow up on the review and ensure its recommendations are implemented effectively.
Pilot programmes have revealed that while awareness of metrology in industry is low, the potential benefits for businesses were huge and in almost all sectors accurate measurement is becoming increasingly important.
Norman Price, deputy chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to offer £500,000 of support through the European Regional Development Fund to the project, recognising this important business improvement need.”