Government warned over cuts to innovation funding

Keith Ridgway
Keith Ridgway
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LEADING ACADEMICS have warned that cuts to Government support for innovation will harm economic growth.

Ministers are reviewing funding for the Innovate UK, the £600m-a-year quango that works with industry and the public sector to transform university research into commercial success.

Triumphs include the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which has developed a world-class reputation for expertise in aerospace and other high-value manufacturing.

The AMRC said it was aware that the funding for Innovate UK and its Catapult centres was under review but could not comment on speculation.

Professor Keith Ridgway, executive dean of the University of Sheffield AMRC, told The Yorkshire Post: “The work we do with British manufacturing companies, with support from Innovate UK, has made a huge difference to their performance and their ability to maintain manufacturing capability in the UK.

“Large cuts to the funding of Innovate UK will have a significant effect on industrial growth. At the AMRC, we do have strategies in place to minimise the impact of any potential cuts on our intended growth plans.”

The AMRC and its sister, the Nuclear AMRC, are funded by three roughly equal streams, including public funding, collaborative research and development programmes and commercial income. Annual revenue across the AMRC group is £45m.

A spokesman for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills said he could not comment on cuts, savings or future finance for investment on innovation ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review on November 24.

Rolls-Royce warned at the weekend that it could spend its £1.2bn annual research budget overseas if the Government reduces support for innovation.