£300 million to boost UK manufacturing productivity by 30%
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Businesses with creative ideas to boost the UK’s manufacturing capabilities, including using robotics, AI and augmented reality, are set to receive £300m of joint government and industry funding, Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed at London Tech Week today (11 September 2020).
Through the Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge, the government will invest £147 million – backed by further funding from industry – to support businesses implement new tech to boost their manufacturing productivity, helping them reach new customers, create thousands of new highly skilled jobs, slash carbon emissions and reduce prices for consumers.
The first £50 million of the funding is being allocated to fourteen cutting-edge manufacturing projects involving around 30 small or medium businesses, 29 larger enterprises and nine universities, with the rest of the funds due over the next 5 years.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Increasing productivity is vital for any business and having the right new technologies in place can help manufacturers make better products to compete and thrive. By helping manufacturers to reduce costs, cut waste, and slash the time it takes to develop their products, this multi-million pound uplift will help fire up the cylinders of productivity as we build back better from the pandemic”.
Today’s funding was announced at London Tech Week – an annual event celebrating innovation, talent and development of the tech sector.
The Manufacturing Made Smarter programme will also support technology SMEs through growth accelerators – partnerships between the government and the private sector where experts will work with businesses to identify barriers to growth and ways to overcome them. It will also create a national network of innovation ‘hubs’ where businesses can partner or share advice, to help spur growth and creative ideas.