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Manchester summit unveils new innovation programmes

The EUREKA Global Innovation Summit, hosted this year in Manchester, saw the announcement of several new funding programmes for UK industry, from smart manufacturing to aerospace tech.

The Summit from 14-16 May was the UKs largest R&D and innovation event of 2019, bringing together over 1,700 attendees from 65 countries to discuss technological challenges in industry. 

It was the flagship event of the UKs chairmanship of the EUREKA network, a group of national ministries and innovation agencies which aims to boost international partnerships in R&D. 

Science Minister Chris Skidmore used the opportunity to unveil the governments new International Research and Innovation Strategy, which sets out how the UK will increase R&D investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP and achieve the targets of its modern Industrial Strategy.  

The Minister also announced a £4 million competition for UK participation in three EUREKA network projects: 

  • GlobalStars: A competition in Singapore, the Netherlands and the UK focused on medical technology, smart mobility and advanced manufacturing 
  • Smart Manufacturing Cluster Call: A competition looking for projects in advanced manufacturing applications and technologies 
  • Artificial Intelligence and Quantum: A project between ten countries working on disruptive new technologies. 

A new partnership between the UKs Innovate UK, the Aerospace Technology Institute and Swedens Innovair programme was also announced to further aerospace R&D projects between the two countries.  

As part of the programme, Rolls-Royce will partner with Swedish firm Ascatron AB to develop new high-temperature electronics essential to numerous aircraft improvements. UK-headquartered International Technegroup will also work with ESI Group in Sweden to explore the fitting of sensors to monitor aircraft conditions. 

A separate UK-only competition for aerospace design and manufacture will also open on 3 June 2019, as part of a £3.9 billion partnership between government and industry to bolster the UKs aerospace industry.  

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