Clegg announces new £200m technology and innovation programme

UK government announces plans for new technology and innovation centres to develop clean tech, energy efficiency and IT.

Online PR News – 08-January-2011 – – The Coalition government has formally launched today a new £200 initiative to build at least six technology and innovation centres designed to support the development of high-growth sectors such as clean technology, energy efficiency and IT.

The government-backed Technology Strategy Board is managing the project, and invites organizations to register their interest for the first centre focused on advanced manufacturing. The government expects applications from universities as well as commercial organisations interested in operating the technology and innovation centre.

When announcing the technology and innovation programme, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said the new centres would help to bolster the UK's standing in those emerging technologies that have the potential to rule multi-billion markets.

He said "The programme for technology and innovation centres is a key part of our strategy to rebalance the economy. We have so much potential here in Britain; now is the time to harness it and build the stable, prosperous economy we want."

The decision on the location of the first technology and innovation centre will be announced in March, when the government will then roll out a further six to eight centres in the initial candidate areas of Energy & Resource Efficiency, Transport Systems, Healthcare, ICT and Electronics and Photonics & Electrical Systems.

A spokesman for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills said the technology and innovation centres would feed into the government's wider low-carbon agenda and seek to provide financial and advisory support to emerging clean tech businesses, while also improving links between commercial firms and research institutions.

The new technology and innovation centres are the latest development in the government's shake-up of business support bodies, which last year saw regional development agencies scrapped to be replaced by local enterprise partnerships.

The announcement follows speculations that the Technology Strategy Board, which has backed a large number of clean tech projects, could be scrapped or scaled back. But, its future now appears to have been assured.