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Government unveils billion-pound innovation programme

The Chancellor has announced £960 million of funding for innovation hubs across the country to support the development of cutting-edge technologies and smart factories.

The Chancellor has announced £960 million of funding for innovation hubs across the country to support the development of cutting-edge technologies and smart factories.

The funding will support the UK’s collection of ten independent catapult centres, which are available to any business wanting to access technical facilities and research expertise.

The catapult network aims to support sectors and technologies that are going to be in high-demand in the years ahead. 

To date they have helped businesses to create hundreds of new products, services and inventions, from cellular therapies to fight cancer to more efficient wings for aeroplanes.

Specialisms

For example, the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult - which has 7 different facilities across the country and will soon add another in Lancashire - can support businesses with a range of technologies spanning advanced assembly and automation to design and modelling.

There is also an Energy Systems Catapult, which focuses on helping to bring innovative, clean energy technologies to market, and a Future Cities Catapult to support technologies that solve problems in changing urban environments, such as air quality. 

‘Removing the risk of innovation’

Allan Cook, chair of the HVM Catapult, said: “Innovation is a risky business. By removing risk and providing access to expertise and the tools of innovation, the HVM Catapult plays a key role in boosting the performance of manufacturers across the UK. 

“The funding announced by Government means we can build our capability to help firms of all sizes harness the potential of new technologies to improve their productivity, increase their competitiveness and secure new customers around the world.”