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Future Emerging Technologies Gets a £780m Injection from Government

Extra funding aimed at expanding "catapult centres" across the UK.

By Umar Hassan

British researchers and entrepreneurs will be getting £780 million in extra funding to develop emerging technologies.

The £780 million in funding is aimed at expanding ‘catapult centres’ as part of the UK’s Modern Industrial Strategy.

The news follows after the government provided £180 million additional funding for two Research and Development centres in North East England.

What Is a Catapult?

A catapult is an important part of Innovate UK’s “full range of innovation support for businesses”.

The catapult network was established by Innovate UK, claiming that it aims to “bridge the gap” between business and academia by turning their ideas into businesses by removing barriers for new entrees.

Catapults are focused around an area that is centred on generating growth strategically in global markets, as well as generating jobs and growth for the economy.

There are several catapult networks ranging from Digital, Cell and Gene Therapy to High Value Manufacturing, Future Cities and many more.

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Breaking Down the Regional Funding

Out of the £780 million funding, the West Midlands gained the largest share at £270.9 million for its Manufacturing Technology Centre (Coventry & Warwickshire), Manufacturing Group and the Energy Systems Catapult (Birmingham).

The other regions in the UK that gained funding for their future emerging technologies include:

  • North East England (£180.3 million) – Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (Blyth) and Centre for Process Innovation (Redcar)
  • Yorkshire and the Humber (£126.7 million) – Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Rotherham and Sheffield) and Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Centre (Rotherham)
  • Scotland (£96 million) – Advanced Forming Research Centre (Strathclyde)
  • Greater London (£70.6 million) – Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult (London and Stevenage)
  • South East England (£68.3 million) – Satellite Applications Catapult (Harwell)
  • South West England (£65.4 million) – National Composite Centre (Bristol)
  • Wales (£51.3 million) – Compound Semiconductor Catapult (Cardiff)

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond commented: “It is by backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs that we will continue this progress and build an economy fit for the future.

“Today’s £780 million investment will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future, and the better, highly-paid jobs we urgently need.”

Dr Iain Campbell, Executive Chair of Innovate UK added: “Today’s significant announcement means our world-class network of catapults can build on their success and continue helping thousands of businesses across the UK to undertake innovative R&D.

“This long-term investment will mean the catapults can help deliver the Grand Challenges of the Industrial Strategy in their sectors and help the UK achieve its ambition to raise investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.”

See Also:  Flying Cars, Anyone? Government Launches “Future of Mobility” Challenge

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