Turing Centres to drive UK innovation

February 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

A network of Technology Innovation Centres took a step forward with a government report that recommends they are named Turing Centres after the British mathematician and ‘father’ of computing, Alan Turing.

The scheme will be managed by the Technology Strategy Board to create six to eight centres, each backed with up to £10m a year and based on existing areas of expertise.

The TSB is looking at areas such as:

  • High value manufacturing;
  • Energy and resource efficiency;
  • Transport systems;
  • Healthcare;
  • ICT; and
  • Electronics, photonics and electrical systems.

While the centres would be based on existing research centres in areas of critical mass, there is a risk that centres that do not become part of the network could fail. “We expect that some existing research centres that are part funded by the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) may become a part of new Technology and Innovation Centres (TICs), but many will not,” said the report. “There is a risk of losing much of the expertise built up with public resources over recent years. The Government should have, by now, set out further details of what will be done to support existing centres that are losing RDA money in March 2011. The Government should ensure that in the short-term any changes do not reduce the overall research and development spend in the regions. In the long-term it should be the Government’s objective to increase the overall research and development spend at both the regional and national level.”

The Turing Centres will provide small and medium sized businesses with access to world-leading technology and expertise, as well as reach into the knowledge base for world-leading science and engineering and be able to undertake collaborative applied research projects with business, particularly small companies.

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