£270m funding for three R&D centres

Chancellor Philip Hammond visited the MTC in Coventry

Three catapult centres in the West Midlands which are leading on innovation and research in key areas will share £270m of Government funding.

The investment, announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond on a visit to the region, provides a five-year funding package to support work in high-tech labs, factories and advanced training centres.

The Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, which is a world leader in 3D printing, will get £122m. Warwick Manufacturing Group’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult will received £99m and the Energy Systems Catapult in Birmingham will get £50m.

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult focuses on low emissions mobility, connected and autonomous vehicles, and the supply chain.

Archie MacPherson, chief executive of the HVM Catapult said: “The investment will enable WMG to further expand its innovation capability to support companies of all sizes, to help them grow and create highly skilled jobs for the UK, in order to address the challenges of productivity, competitiveness and anchoring product manufacture in the UK.”

On a visit to the West Midlands, Hammond, said: “Today’s £270m investment for the West Midlands will support innovators across the region to create the technologies of the future and the better, highly-paid jobs we all want to see.”

The funding is part of a £780m national package to expand successful catapult centres, which bring together business, science and engineering to work collaboratively to develop products for market.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, added: “We identified some years ago the sectors and industries in which the West Midlands had a natural advantage and focused our attention and investment on these.

“Warwick Manufacturing Group, the MTC and the Energy Systems Catapult are leading-edge research and development centres that are working with businesses on the technologies, products and services of tomorrow and therefore creating the industries and jobs of tomorrow.”

Catapults were started in 2011 and operate in areas where significant opportunities have been identified to drive growth.

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