15 Feb 2012
UK Superyacht sector could benefit from government funding
A UK government funded body is to publish a roadmap and capability study that will define the key areas in the marine sector, including the superyacht sector, that will benefit from investment.
The Technology Strategy Board, a non public departmental body sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, has funded the ‘technology and innovation’ roadmap, which, when published in Spring, will show key areas of innovation in technology.
These areas will be based on extensive research carried out by the Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing, commissioned by the Board for the map. It is in the final stages of completion and will show the areas the Board believes are worthy of focus for investment. The capability study, published after the roadmap in early summer, will identify companies that can carry the work out.
Research is ongoing and companies in the superyacht industry are being encouraged to communicate their products in terms of innovation and technology that would benefit from financial intervention.
Stephen Hart, the Lead on Integrated Transport-Rail and Marine, at the Technology Strategy Board, said: “There are definitely opportunities for the superyacht industry to be part of the roadmap and capability study.
“We’d welcome conversations with companies. It might be a case of, “'we've got this piece of technology we want to develop, so we’ve put it on the shelf.’” But we say, we could offer you some funding to accelerate that…we’re serious about what is going to drive industry forward.”
Hart added that companies may also be involved via competitions, published after the roadmap is finished. For example, green technology could be identified as an area, and in this case companies that specialise in this sector will be encouraged to submit proposals for funding.
Allocation of funding has not yet been agreed. It will be allocated when the opportunities for investment have been identified.
Richard Sadler, CEO, Lloyds Register and Mark Prisk, Minister for Business and Enterprise are co-chair of the Marine Industries Leadership Council (MILC), of which
The Technology and Innovation Group (TIG) is a sub-group. The Board is supporting the TIG by providing the funding for the preparation of the roadmap, which will underpin the national growth strategy.
Sadler and Prisk have stated the far reaching ambitions of the project as follows:
"By 2020 the UK marine industries will be renowned for the quality and value for money of their high technology products, systems and services globally, and for their overall and substantial contribution to the UK’s economic, environmental and social well being."
The recognition for the financial contribution and importance of the UK marine and superyacht sector to the economy is part of a series of positive developments.
In November 2011, Princess Yachts in Plymouth secured investment
from the UK Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for its new production site for 30m M Class yachts and earlier this year, Prime Minister, David Cameron backed the construction of a yacht for the nation that would create jobs and opportunities for young people.
Companies wanting to contact the Technology and Strategy Board about investment opportunities should write to Stephen Hart on Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Princess 40M hull in the new South Yard facility made possible from investment by the UK Regional Growth Fund in 2011 - Credit Princess yachts international PLC
Department for Business Innovation and Skills Website
Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing Website
Marine Industries Leadership Council Website
Princess Yachts Profile | Princess Yachts Website
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