Posted: May 16, 2008

UK Polymer Firms Could Benefit From GBP 1 Billion Pot

(Nanowerk News) The Technology Strategy Board, set up by the UK government last year, has launched a three-year strategic plan to invest GBP 1bn in innovation with its partners.
Companies in the polymer industry could become involved in collaborative projects that deliver innovation under the plan. One such initial project looks to develop materials and products to reduce energy and water consumption in buildings.
The board has announced a GBP4m funding competition to provide partial funding for winning projects that involve businesses working collaboratively with other businesses or with research organisations and academic institutions.
Speaking at the launch of the board's GBP1bn plan last week, John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said the government is determined “to make the UK an ‘Innovation Nation’” and the board will be integral to achieving this.
He said: “Innovation will be the key to some of the biggest challenges facing our society, like global warming and sustainable development,”
Denham added: “We need to ensure that Britain contributes to the innovative solutions and that British business and the British people benefit from the new opportunities and prosperity they create.”
Half of the GBP1bn investment will support innovation in response to emerging challenges, and the board’s initiatives include low carbon vehicles, low carbon buildings and assisted living for an ageing population.
Two other areas will attract the remaining investment: innovation inspired by existing and emerging technology, where the UK leads or could lead; and development of the innovation culture in which innovation can grow.
Nick Sheppard, a spokesman at the Technology Strategy Board, told that advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and nanotechnology are among the priority areas for the board.
Companies in the polymer sector could become involved by contacting Knowledge Transfer Networks, for example the Materials KTN, which includes the Polymer Innovation Network.
He stressed, though, that research and development projects will need to be collaborative to be eligible. Products that are already close to market launch will not receive funding support.
Source: David Eldridge
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