CPI to support innovation in the UK metals industry

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is to run an innovation support programme aimed specifically at small and medium sized businesses operating across the UK metals processing supply chain. This programme will enable companies to respond to the changing business environment caused by the recent downturn in the steel sector.

The £400,000 programme, which is being funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills through Innovate UK will focus on; the identification of investment opportunities and dissemination of innovation best practice, the development of new business plans for small and medium sized businesses in the sector, and the enabling of knowledge sharing and the formation of new business partnerships through the creation of collaborative communities of practice.

Business Minister, Anna Soubry said; “Innovation will be key to securing a more sustainable future for our metals industries which is why the government is backing the sector with this scheme. I am pleased this funding is going to CPI and hope it can help the supply chain throughout the UK.”

The metals and materials manufacturing industries in the UK are evolving with lower levels of primary production, causing a major rethink of the UK based supply chain. This could trigger opportunities for the adoption and implementation of the next generation of processes and manufacturing technologies, if related best practices are transferred from other industries, such as the process and chemical sector.

CPI will leverage the existing relationships with the Materials Processing Institute and other Centres in the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which will supply much of the on the ground delivery resource. This programme aims to improve innovation processes and give participating companies the opportunity to develop new projects that will prepare them for the future.

Graham Hillier, director of strategy and futures at CPI said; “We understand what is needed for successful innovation to take place at each technology development stage; invention, innovation and commercialisation. We are delighted to have this opportunity to work within the UK Metals industry to use our knowledge and experience to help stimulate even more innovation.”

Tom Austin-Morgan

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