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Posted: August 19, 2008

UK Manufacturing, Including Nanotechnology Projects, Receives GBP 20m Strategic Funding

(Nanowerk News) Vital new research and development projects will help British manufacturers to stay ahead of international competition, following the announcement today of £20 million of government investment in innovation.
The investments - by the government-sponsored Technology Strategy Board - will support new research that will develop technologies, products and systems incorporating clever technology and know-how.
Commenting on the decision to invest in these projects, Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson said: "Manufacturing is a vital sector of the UK economy, accounting for over 50% of our exports. And the UK is the world's sixth biggest manufacturer. Given the UK's high-wage economy, future productivity and global competitiveness depend upon our ability to develop high-quality, clever technology and products. Major investment in innovative research and development, such as the twenty million pounds announced today, will enable us to maintain and improve the quality of the UK's manufacturing capability in key areas such as aerospace, healthcare, energy and recycling."
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, added: "There are some great examples of manufacturing technologies and innovation happening here in the UK. These successful projects reflect the changing nature of manufacturing and we are investing in the UK to enable it to maintain its place as one of the worlds leading manufacturing locations."
Applications for support were received from a very wide range of industries. The two nanotechnology related projects are

PROduction Systems for Value Added Cluster Technologies (PROSVACT)

Summary: PROSVACT facilitates the economic manufacture of high value, innovative products based on the unique properties of nanoclusters with selected composition & size.

Partners: Teer Coatings Limited (lead), Inanovate (UK) Limited, Johnson Matthey PLC, University of Birmingham

and

Nanostructured Advanced Ceramics (NASTRAC)

Summary: The goal is to manufacture bulk advanced ceramic components with significantly enhanced properties delivered via retaining a nanostructure. This will be achieved using largely conventional processing routes.

Partners: Dynamic-Ceramic Ltd (lead), British Ceramic Research Ltd, Loughborough University, MEL Chemicals Ltd, SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems, Syfer Technology Ltd, Valve Solutions Ltd

Other successful projects include research and development in areas such as:
  • Carbon-neutral construction products
  • Mouldable auto parts from sustainable resources
  • Energy efficient and environmentally friendly recycling of composites
  • Advanced "health management" of wind turbine transmissions
  • Intelligent management of electrical power systems
  • The manufacture of sustainable prefabricated housing from renewable materials
  • The Technology Strategy Board is to invest £19m in these projects, while the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is to support four of the projects with a further £1m investment. Taking into account the matched contributions from the private sector businesses involved, the total value of the research and development projects is in excess of £40m.
    The funding of these projects is the latest investment by the Technology Strategy Board and follows their Autumn 2007 call for proposals in a number of innovation and technology areas. Announcements about further investments are likely to be made shortly.
    Source: Technology Strategy Board
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