Commitments to the innovation pathway made in the Autumn Statement

Vattenfall wind turbines.

Innovate UK paves the way for transformative business-led innovation through new commitments made during the Autumn Statement.

Following the Chancellor’s speech on 22 November, Innovate UK, working with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is investing an additional £145 million into the UK’s innovation ecosystem via the following investments.

The increased commitment to fostering a culture of innovation is enabling Innovate UK to harness and deliver these cutting-edge projects, key collaborations, and boost economic growth.

The projects

Projects include:

UK Research and Innovation’s Faraday Battery Challenge funding of £50 million to advance the UK’s capability in battery manufacturing scale up

Investing in the UK’s world-class battery capabilities, from research and development to industrialisation. This includes enhancing the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre’s development facilities, boosting its ability to commercialise new chemistries and future battery technologies, building on our know-how in lithium-ion solutions and enabling the scale up of emerging innovations.

In addition, an Advanced Materials Battery Industrialisation Centre, a new world-class battery materials scale up facility which harnesses capability in the West Midlands and north-east to bridge the gap between laboratory research and commercial production.

£50 million to boost Catapult activity and capability in high growth sectors, namely healthy living, digital and technologies, and net zero

The investment includes:

  • £8.8 million for Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult to enable electrical testing of the next generation of wind turbine generators, and innovative energy storage systems
  • £5 million for Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult to develop next generation, digitised and automated Advanced Therapy Manufacturing
  • £4 million for future telecoms through the Expansion of the Compound Semiconductor Application Catapult’s Future Telecoms Hub at the Bath and Bristol Science Park
  • £2.7 million for the Connected Places Catapult to progress Future of Air Mobility developments through a Connected Airport living lab
  • £27 million for High Value Manufacturing Catapult led net zero and industrial transformation capital and projects supporting the manufacturing and construction industries
  • £1.5 million to the Manufacturing Technology Centre, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, to progress new technologies to rapidly identify and quantify the condition of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete across a range of public buildings. This will lead to the development of a UK mass-produced solution for a replacement programme

£45 million to further support both foundation industries and dedicated hubs, institutes and centres across the UK

The investment allocation is:

  • £20 million investment, through the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge, in the Foundation Industries Sustainability Consortium, which brings together five centres of technical excellence to address barriers to scale up of research for the foundation industries, critical to achieving commercialised innovation as part of the UK’s innovation strategy
  • £25 million investment in critical infrastructure in established areas of UK strategic advantage (quantum technologies, artificial intelligence, telecommunications, materials science)

These investments build on the recent announcement of a £4.5 billion package for British manufacturing to drive economic growth across eight key sectors such as automotive, aerospace, and clean energy.

With the entire manufacturing sector making up over 43% of all UK exports and employing around 2.6 million people, this funding is targeted at the UK’s strongest, world leading sectors.

Enhancing national capability

Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee said:

As the national innovation agency, Innovate UK will make these strategic investments to enable innovative businesses to grow in the UK and deliver against some of the biggest global challenges.

These investments are part of our core domain activities across Net Zero, Digital & Technologies and Healthy Living & Agriculture.

They enhance national capability through our world-leading Catapults, and will be deployed across the UK.

Innovate UK is committed to providing businesses unparalleled access and support throughout the innovation pathway. These investments, and the partnerships in place to deliver them, are helping to drive forward the UK’s technological and economic ambitions.

Shaping UK’s net zero future

Katherine Bennett, Chair of the Catapult Network and CEO of High Value Manufacturing Catapult highlighted the future impact of these investments:

This is a welcome investment that recognises the vital role that Innovate UK and Catapults play in delivering economic growth.

The high-impact infrastructure investments that add up to £50m will enable Catapults to drive innovation-powered green growth across the UK, equipping supply chains with the world-leading technologies and technical skills they need.

I look forward to seeing these cutting-edge projects shape the UK’s net zero future.

Top image:  Credit: Offshore Renewable Catapult

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