News story

Reducing variation in manufacturing: apply for business funding

Businesses can apply for a share of up to £6.5 million to research advanced analytical technologies that could improve business performance.

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Innovate UK, Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC), National Physical Laboratory (NPL), LGC and NEL are to invest up to £6.5 million in innovation projects that improve business performance and productivity through advanced anaytical technologies.

The aim is to help companies overcome problems with product, manufacturing and process performance. Understanding variability is criticial to ensuring efficient production and quality of products.

Examples of problems that new analytical technologies could help in understanding include:

  • poorly understood structure and properties of emerging technology products, where the business impact is high
  • undesirable variation in product or process performance, where the root cause is not understood, but the negative business impact is high
  • repeated unexplained product failures
  • lack of precision in composition measurement or flow of multi-component systems, or processes
  • lack of detailed understanding of structure, mechanism or function, preventing further product enhancements

Innovate UK has up to £3 million to fund projects and a further £3.5 million is available from the partner organisations. Projects will collaborate with at least one of the partner organisations.

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 9 January 2017, and the deadline for applications is midday on 1 February 2017
  • there are two funding streams, one for projects below £50,000 and one for projects above £50,000
  • projects up to £50,000 could attract up to 100% of their project costs, and other projects could attract up to 70% of project costs
  • for stream 2, we expect projects to range in size from £50,000 to £250,000 and to last between 3 and 11 months
  • projects must be led by a business collaborating with at least one of the funding partners
  • a briefing event will be held on 12 January 2017
Published 15 December 2016