Manufacturing sector receives £50m for 'cutting-edge' projects

Wed 6 Sept 2023
Posted by: Danielle Keen
Trade News

Advanced manufacturing

The government has awarded £50m in grants to a series of 30 ‘cutting-edge’ manufacturing projects that are hoped to boost the green technology industry as well as create new jobs and grow the economy.

According to a government press release, money has been targeted to spur innovation and contribute to more energy-efficient technologies across the automotive, pharmaceutical and electronics sectors.

Reflecting on the potential of the projects, chancellor Jeremy Hunt, said:

“From farm tractors fuelled by hydrogen to rapid-charge first responder motorcycles, these projects receiving funding today show we are not short of innovators in this country.

“By supporting growth in the industries of the future, including through better regulation, we are delivering on our plan to get the economy growing and make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”

Automotive ambitions

Through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), £11m was granted to 12 projects developing environmentally-friendly vehicles.

This includes the development of a hydrogen-fuelled tractor, a rapid-charge first responder motorcycle for emergency services and electric coaches that purport to be zero-emissions.

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), a government unit dedicated to driverless vehicles established in 2015, delivered £18.5m in funding to 43 companies working across 13 projects.

Recipients are developing AI, sensors and safety measures to advance self-driving technology, such as Nissan, which received £2.3m to develop a car capable of navigating a city autonomously.

Developing battery power

The government views more efficient batteries as integral to the green transition, and have targeted related projects for this reason.

Through the Faraday Institution, an independent research institute, £19m was earmarked for projects designed to boost battery energy efficiency and lower their cost.

In response to the funding, Faraday Institution CEO, professor Pam Thomas, said:

“The Faraday Institution remains steadfast in its commitment to identify and invest in battery research initiatives that hold the greatest potential for making significant societal, environmental, and commercial contributions.

“This announcement signals the completion of our latest round of project refocusing, enabling us to allocate even more effort towards those areas of research that offer maximum potential in delivering transformative impact.”

Several universities have also received funding.

Newcastle University and University College Birmingham will run a training programme to upskill local workers, while Coventry University has been chosen to create a framework outlining industry-relevant skills.

Future medical breakthroughs

The plans will also see the creation of a Medicines Manufacturing Skills Centre of Excellence.

£5.5m has been allocated to build the centre, which is hoped to boost skills training and increase the UK’s medical manufacturing capabilities.