Vince Cable, Business Secretary, says: “These centres will help take ideas from the drawing board to the market place. They will play a key role in helping firms develop new products and processes so they can grow and prosper.”
The centres will be based on the model proposed by Hermann Hauser and James Dyson in their reviews entitled The Current and Future Role of Technology and Innovation Centres and Ingenious Britain: Making the UK the leading high tech exporter in Europe respectively.
Businesses will gain access to equipment and expertise that would otherwise be out of reach, as well as helping businesses to access new funding streams and point them towards the new potential of emerging technologies.
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 next year and will then consider requirements for new centres.