Gov ploughs a further £780m into tech hub innovation drive

The additional investment means businesses and researchers now have access to just under £1 billion

Whitehall buildings

The government is to inject 780m funding into the UK's technology research and entrepreneur community to help it become a world leader in innovative technologies. The investment builds upon an additional 180m pumped into a similar scheme in the North East that was launched in July. Both initiatives form part of the UK government's Industrial Strategy.

The funding will be used to create more "catapult centres" around the UK - facilities to help accelerate the development of new technologies and innovation for existing projects. One of the centres benefitting from this new funding will be the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult inside London's Guys Hospital that will receive 71m from the scheme.

"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," Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said. "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."

Hammond added that one of the reasons the government is able to support the Industrial Strategy in this way is because the country's GDP has grown by 0.4%. This reflects double the speed of growth the country's economy has seen in previous years, the Chancellor said while visiting the West Midlands.

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Existing catapults have already supported 3,000 small businesses to develop new technologies and are providing new job opportunities for 900 apprentices recruited to work in the digital sector.

"This government wants to make the UK the most innovative nation in the world and the investment in our world-leading catapult network will play a key role in building on UK strengths, bringing new ideas and products to market and helping drive local economies across the UK," Business Secretary Greg Clark added.

The funding has been earmarked for catapults in the following areas:

West Midlands270.9mManufacturing Technology Centre (Coventry), Warwick Manufacturing Group, Energy Systems Catapult (Birmingham)
Yorkshire & Humber126.7mAdvanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Rotherham & Sheffield), Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Rotherham)
North East180.3mOffshore Renewable Energy Catapult (Blyth), Centre for Process Innovation (Redcar)
Greater London70.6mCell & Gene Therapy Catapult (London)
South West65.4mNational Composite Centre (Bristol)
South East68.3mSatellite Applications Catapult (Harwell)
Wales51.3mCompound Semiconductor Catapult (Cardiff)
Scotland96mAdvanced Forming Research Centre (Strathclyde)
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