Coalition to establish regional technology centres

Quangos in the North West are expected to bid to form technology and innovation centres focused on high value manufacturing, the formal tendering period for which opened on Friday.

A national network of centres is to be established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board, to work in partnership with universities and businesses to help commercialise the results of research in specific technology areas where there are potential multi-billion pound global markets.

Sub-regional investment bodies such as The Mersey Partnership and the new local enterprise partnership for Greater Manchester are likely to bid for the new centres having identified advanced manufacturing as growth sectors in their business plans.

Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, said: "The banking crisis made one thing completely clear: Britain needs a new kind of growth. It is not right, sensible or fair to be dependent solely on the City of London and on financial services. We should be at the cutting edge of science, manufacturing and technology. And this innovation should be happening in towns and cities across the UK, creating opportunity for everyone, no matter where they live.

"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 Technology Strategy Board has published a prospectus on high value manufacturing and outlined plans to establish a network of six to eight world-leading centres in total. The Technology Strategy Board received funding of £200m in the Comprehensive Spending Review for the centres.

To see the prospectus, visit:

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