The government’s £125 million Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative opens for applications on Thursday (29 March).
The initiative aims to support projects which are of a sufficient size to make a significant impact on supply chains, ultimately awarding funding of at least £2 million to successful bidders.
Supply chain companies with projects that require funding below the threshold should consider entering a consortium with others who are also seeking support.
They should be in established advanced or high value manufacturing sectors, or in newer growth areas where the UK is well placed to take a global lead, such as energy renewables and other low carbon sectors. It provides a flexible approach to funding (grants and loans) and is designed to promote closer collaboration within the supply chain and to address market failures.
Business secretary Vince Cable wants small and medium companies to compete for the funding. He said: “This government has an absolute commitment to clearing away the barriers that act as a brake on growth for British SMEs. That is why, for example, we are not just reviewing whether there is still a case for each regulation, but now we are going to tackle how regulations are actually enforced as well. That commitment to lighten the load lies at the heart of our strategy for achieving economic transformation and recovery.”
The process is being managed by the Technology Strategy Board. A briefing day for potential applicants is on 27 April 2012.