Industry News

DECC: Cash to take marine power devices to the next level of development has been announced by Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker on a visit to Pelamis Wave Power at Leith Docks in Edinburgh. Generating energy from the power of waves or tides has the potential to meet 15-20% of the UK’s current electricity demand by 2050 as well as helping to reduce emissions to fight climate change.
 
Up to £20 million from DECC’s budget of over £200m to fund low carbon technologies, announced at the Spending Review, will help progress the development of marine devices from the current large scale prototypes to bigger formations in the sea.
Press release & links ~ Research Councils’ SuperGen Marine programme ~ Pelamis Wave Power
 
DSTL: A team of researchers looking at new light-weight, low-cost, environmentally friendly ceramic body armour has won a prestigious Venture Prize from the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers. The body armour, which received funding from the Ministry of Defence, was developed by Dr Hywel Jones at Sheffield Hallam University's Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) and Dr Anthony Pick, a ceramic consultant from Barnsley.
 
The new material is made using a combination of several ceramic systems, a carbide, anitride and a number of oxides, forming a novel, strong, hard but light ceramic composite. It combines the advantages of lower weight, lower cost of production and the ability to be made in different sizes and shapes - while still having the ballistic performance required by the armed forces.
Press release & links ~ Sheffield Hallam University's Materials & Engineering Research Institute (MERI)
 
BIS: Students across the country are being given the chance to see one of the UK’s vanguard industries, as companies in the automotive sector throw open their doors in a pilot for a new government initiative.  As part of the ‘See Inside Manufacturing programme’, the Government & industry are calling on the budding young engineers of tomorrow to see how they can play a role in designing, developing or producing some of the world’s most desired and ground-breaking products.
 
The automotive sector is spearheading the campaign this year inviting pupils, teachers & careers advisers to see first hand some of the UK’s world-class automotive & motorsport facilities and research centres. They will be able to talk to apprentices and learn more about modern high-value manufacturing and the wide range of rewarding jobs in this exciting and diverse sector. 

The full schedule of activities is available on the Automotive Council website.  The open days will take place between 10 & 21 October 2011.
Press release & links ~ CBI comment
 
Defra: Scientists at East Malling Research are developing  varieties of strawberry that are better able to cope with the predicted effects of climate change, particularly higher summer temperatures and less rainfall.  The new varieties will require less water to grow and need fewer chemical inputs, therefore reducing the environmental impact of strawberry production in the UK.
Press release & links
 
WAG: Transport Minister, Carl Sargeant, has confirmed that Amey and URS/Scott Wilson have won a 4-year contract to manage, maintain and improve the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) throughout Wales.  This includes all the associated telecommunications & tunnel systems for the entire motorway & trunk road network in Wales.
Press release & links ~ URS/Scott Wilson ~ Amey
 
MoD: The MOD has announced the 4 bidders short-listed for a major new contract to provide up to £500m of Hard Facilities Management (Hard FM) to the Defence estate across Scotland and Northern Ireland.  The Regional Prime Scotland and Northern Ireland is the first of Defence Infrastructure Organisation's (DIO) four contracts to deliver maintenance and repairs at UK Defence bases from 2013.
 
The shortlisted bidders are: Carillion Enterprise Ltd; Interserve (Defence) Ltd; Babcock Support Services Ltd; and TurnerHenry. The contract is currently estimated to be worth between £300m - £500m over a 5-year period.  It will also include options for estate management & maintenance of rural areas, and smaller construction projects.  SMEs can potentially benefit under the new arrangements by working closely as part of the successful bidder's supply chain.
Press release & links
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