The Government has commited £134 million to support the UK’s ‘greenest’ and ‘most innovative’ businesses thriving during the pandemic as well as help secure new jobs.
This investment forms part of the governments decision to ‘build back better’ by supporting companies to bring their ‘novel’ ideas to market.
Robots that patrol UK roads to detect and repair cracks and potholes, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will help to reduce beer waste and converting seaweed into compostable packaging are just some of over 1,000 projects that will receive £134 million of government investment.
Businesses right across the UK, from Glasgow to Devon, are set to benefit from the investment, enabling 1,069 ‘ground-breaking’ clean growth projects develop new technologies, secure and create new jobs, drive productivity and tackle climate change.
One of these projects receiving funding is Robotiz3D in Manchester, which is developing autonomous technology which will enable robots to be deployed to patrol UK roads to detect and repair cracks and potholes as soon as they appear, as reported by Highways News last week.
This approach will speed up the time taken to make repairs and will lower overall costs, while reducing the carbon footprint caused by road maintenance vehicles.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The UK’s response to coronavirus has demonstrated the very best of British ingenuity, and it is this resourcefulness that will help us navigate our way through this pandemic.
“Today’s investment will ensure that our innovators and risk-takers can continue to scale up their ideas, helping the UK to build back better and ensure we meet our clear commitments on tackling climate change.”
The Sustainable Innovation Fund, delivered through Innovate UK, is a cornerstone of the £1.25 billion investment package announced by the Chancellor in April to help ambitious, innovative businesses survive and thrive during the current pandemic.
Executive Chair Innovate UK Dr Ian Campbell said: “Yet again we see the exciting range of business innovation taking place across the United Kingdom, despite these difficult times.
“Every initiative we’ve supported here represents an important step forward in sustainable economic development, but also one step nearer dreams becoming reality for ambitious hard-working company owners and their staff.”
The investment forms part of the government’s commitment to support the UK’s entrepreneurs and start-ups to scale up their innovations, set out in its ‘ambitious’ R&D Roadmap in July this year.