Industry News

BIS: More than £200m will be invested by the Government in a network of elite Technology & Innovation Centres to drive growth in the UK’s most high-tech industries, it was announced last week. 

The centres will bridge the gap between universities & businesses, helping to commercialise the outputs of Britain’s world-class research base.  The network will support businesses in developing & commercialising new technology.
 
Each centre will focus on a specific technology where there is a potentially large global market and a significant UK capability.  Areas identified as possibilities by Hermann Hauser included plastic electronics, regenerative medicine and high value manufacturing. 

The network will be established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) but individual centres will have a high degree of autonomy so they can respond to business needs.  The TSB will determine which existing centres to invest in by April 2011 and will then consider requirements for new centres.
Press release ~ Hermann Hauser's review: The Current and Future Role of Technology and Innovation Centres in the UK ~ James Dyson's review: Ingenious Britain: Making the UK the leading high tech exporter in Europe ~ Technology Strategy Board
 
DECC: The Department of Energy and Climate Change and The Crown Estate have signed a Letter of Intent to support development of ports infrastructure for offshore wind and 3 major wind turbine manufacturers have announced that they plan to invest in offshore wind manufacturing in the UK.
 
The £60m will support offshore wind manufacturing infrastructure at port sites, to meet the needs of offshore wind manufacturers looking to locate new facilities in assisted areas in England.  The funding will be delivered using the Grant for Business Investment scheme.  This will enable support to be made available more quickly than would have been possible using the offshore wind infrastructure competition proposed previously.
Press release ~ BIS:  Regional Aid and UK Assisted Areas
 
ScotGovVertex is to create a centre of excellence in Glasgow to handle outsourced financial services contracts, supported by £1.7m Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) from the Scottish Government
The project will create 368 new jobs at Atlantic Quay.  Recruitment for the first phase of the project will start before the end of the year.
 
RSA is the main national scheme of financial assistance to industry.  It provides discretionary grants to investment projects that will create & safeguard employment in areas designated for regional aid under European Community law.  Payment of RSA is made in instalments, typically over several years as job & capital expenditure targets are met.
Press release ~ Scottish Business Grants
 
MoD: The first commercially available, federated cyber test range in the UK was opened last week by the Minister for International Security Strategy, Gerald Howarth. The cyber range is located at the Northrop Grumman Corporation's Fareham facility.  

It will be used for emulating large complex networks and for conducting cyber experiments & assessments of infrastructure survivability and assurance within a safe & controlled experimental environment to evaluate their resilience to cyber attacks.
Press release ~ Photos and related links
 
BS: The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Buying Solutions and Ordnance Survey expired on31 October 2010.  Customers who wish to take advantage of the Ordnance Survey MoU pricing should have ordered by this date.
 
A new Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) has been negotiated between OS and Communities & Local Government (CLG) which will be available to central government, local government, health & education sectors in England & Wales from April 2011
Press release ~ Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA)
 
ScotGov: How do businesses ensure they never miss a new sales lead?  They get an app.  That's the solution launched last week by Scotland's main public sector procurement body. Public Contract Scotland (PCS), the Scottish Government's purchasing portal, is launching the world's first app specifically designed to alert business to new contract opportunities from the public sector - a market worth £9bn annually.
Press release ~ Public Contracts Scotland portal ~ Download the public contracts app
 
DECC: Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, has called on enterprising communities to harness the power of their rivers and streams to generate both green electricity & money, as he visited the Torrs Hydro scheme in New Mills, Peak District last week.
 
Greg Barker used the visit to this successful community hydro scheme to announce that former mills & water turbines which are brought back to life will now be eligible for financial support under the feed-in tariff.
 
To help drive forward the ambitious new plan, DECC is also launching the new hydropower help guide, prepared by the Environment Agency, which offers advice to groups looking to use the power of local streams, weirs or rivers to cut emissions and generate new income for their areas.
Press release ~ DECC: Micro-hydro
 
TfL: Customers will be able to log on to the internet from their laptops or mobile phones at Charing Cross Tube station from 1 November 2010.  London Underground has teamed up with BT Openzone, the Wi-Fi provider, to launch a 6-month trial. The trial, which will test how the service works and look at customer take-up, will include live Transport for London (TfL) service updates available to all Wi-Fi users including non-BT customers.
Press release
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