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Innovation

Process and product innovation will be vital if the UK Metals Industry is to grow and thrive. However, research shows many companies, and SMEs in particular, do not value research and development (R&D). This is due to the cost, the perceived high rate of failure and the lack of quick returns on investment.

To achieve the Industry’s 2030 vision, a forward-thinking, collaborative approach to R&D needs to embed innovation throughout the industry, from the smallest company to the largest organisation.

Proposed action one: To foster a spirit of innovation by addressing risk aversion

To realise its vision of innovation, the UK Metals Industry has developed a three-part action plan to address risk aversion among SMEs, to encourage better coordination and to build strong connections across the sector.

Proposed action two: To identify a platform to better support new technology

The UK Metals Industry will seek proposals regarding better funding frameworks for large-scale breakthrough technology demonstrations. Where necessary it will work with other sectors and seek cross-sector opportunities for clustering, for example for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

To encourage innovation, commitments sought from policymakers may include:

  • Resourcing to support the UK Metals Industry’s efforts to widen participation in R&D.
  • Incorporating the UK Metals Industry’s virtual hub into the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult network.
  • Promoting better funding frameworks within the EU for large-scale breakthrough technology demonstration.

To promote innovation, it is envisaged that an SME pilot scheme will be launched by the end of 2015, with some 20 SMEs being supported through additional industry’s initiatives

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