Government invests £300m in aerospace, automotive, pharmaceuticals and food and beverage sectors

The Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge’s initial £50 million of funding is being granted to 14 manufacturing projects

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The UK has launched a £300 million investment aims at boosting manufacturing capabilities and cutting emissions in the aerospace, automotive, pharmaceuticals and food and beverage sectors.

The government will invest £147 million, backed by industry financing, to support businesses in implementing new technologies that can improve productivity, create new jobs, slash emissions and reduce prices as the economy recovers from the coronavirus crisis.

The Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge’s initial £50 million of funding is being granted to 14 manufacturing projects, with the rest of the funds to be delivered over the next five years.

One winning project will see WeldZero use robots, sensors and automation to improve accuracy when welding metal parts on production lines, while the Digital Sandwich will use its share of the financing to develop software to boost food quality and cut waste.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Increasing productivity is vital for any business and having the right new technologies in place can help manufacturers make better products to compete and thrive.

“By helping manufacturers to reduce costs, cut waste and slash the time it takes to develop their products, this multi-million-pound uplift will help fire up the cylinders of productivity as we build back better from the pandemic.”