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UK Government funds regional innovation with £75m investment

Written by Wed 25 Oct 2023

The UK Government is set to promote innovation with a £75 million ($90.9 million) investment in regional programmes.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology announced Innovate UK will expand its Launchpad programme across the UK. A total of eight Launchpad programmes will be rolled out across every nation of the UK. These programmes build on existing clusters of high-tech innovation, including renewable energy, agri-tech, and digital health.

Each Launchpad will be provided up to £7.5 million ($9.1 million) from Innovate UK to fund local innovation projects. The announcement followed the successful Launchpad pilots in Liverpool and Teesside.

The eight clusters that will receive UK Government investment are:

  • Net Zero Industry Launchpad in South West Wales, focused on sustainable solutions for net-zero industrial emissions.
  • Digital Technologies Launchpad in North East England, dedicated to promoting digital technologies in emerging markets.
  • Health Technologies Launchpad in West Yorkshire, concentrated on advancing healthcare technology for improved outcomes.
  • Agri-tech and Food Tech Launchpad in Eastern England, committed to fostering innovation in food production and sustainability.
  • Marine and Maritime Launchpad in the Great South West, focused on supporting growth and sustainability in marine and maritime industries.
  • Bio-based Manufacturing Launchpad in Scotland, dedicated to promoting innovations in sustainable production methods.
  • Immersive and Creative Industries Launchpad in Coventry and Warwickshire, West Midlands, dedicated to promoting technologies for creative and immersive experiences in collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
  • Life and Health Sciences Launchpad in Northern Ireland, focused on healthcare solutions and medical breakthroughs.

“The UK science, research and innovation economy is not just the ‘golden triangle’ of Cambridge-Oxford-London. It is all around the UK,” said George Freeman, MP and Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

Launchpads customise support for innovative regions, fostering collaboration with local leaders, providing funding, innovation resources, and SME joint venture opportunities.

“Our new Launchpads will help to attract further private sector R&D investment into innovation clusters, growing local economies and delivering societal and economic benefits to local communities,” said Indro Mukerjee, Chief Executive of Innovate UK.

More than 40 proposals across the UK were considered. Proposals were put forward by local leaders and evaluated by a panel of UK directors, sector experts, and academics.

“This new network of UK Government innovation clusters provides the ideal environment for local firms to exchange ideas with experts across the UK, to progress and thrive, and will provide a wealth of economic opportunities,” said Steve Baker, Minister of State for Northern Ireland.

Tees Valley was chosen as the Net Zero Launchpad location, with a primary focus on offshore wind, hydrogen, and CCUS aligned with the net zero theme. Teesside University led research projects, including waste diversion technology investments to promote environmental sustainability.

The Liverpool City Region Pilot focused on the manufacturing sector. Funding for this pilot has backed 23 green projects, including an eco-friendly concrete block to help protect coastal communities against climate change-related flooding.

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Written by Wed 25 Oct 2023

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