The Governments Campaign; ‘Building Britain’s Future’ Takes Shape with Investments in Technology and Advanced Manufacturing

17 08 2009

Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced a £3million investment in UK technology firms, as well as a £340million investment in the development of a new Airbus.

The investments form part of the Governments strategy ‘Building Britain’s Future,’ which includes the launch of several funds including the Capital for Enterprise Fund and the Strategic Investment fund, which is aimed at increasing Advanced Manufacturing, to keep the UK ahead of the competition.

The £75milion Capital for Enterprise fund was launched in January, to help growing companies’ access finance. The fund includes £50 million from the government, as well as £30 million from UK banks, which is managed by Octopus Investments.

The £3million investment includes £1million to IT systems business Vamosa, as well as £2million to KeTech, who provide communication software to rail companies, as well as the emergency services and construction businesses.

KeTech’s CEO, John Kearney, explains that he wrote to Lord Mandelson after having difficulty securing finance;

“Since the current economic crisis began, the lack of available credit, even to viable businesses such as KeTech, has significantly impaired our ability to keep growing. As a result, we turned to the Government for help.

“I am therefore delighted that the Octopus Capital for Enterprise Fund is injecting much-needed capital into KeTech. This will play a critical role in enabling us to secure profitable new contracts which regrettably, until now, we have been forced to turn away.”

The £340million investment for Airbus will aid the development of the new A350 XWB and ensure that Britain retains its position as a world leader in wing, landing gear and fuel integration systems technologies

The investment which is drawn partially from the Governments £750million strategic investment fund, will also secure more than 1,200 jobs within Airbus across Filton and Broughton sites as well over 5,000 within the supply chain across the UK.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said;

“This agreement is excellent news for the UK aerospace sector and for the thousands of British workers within Airbus and its UK-based supply chain”.

“The UK’s aerospace industry is world-class and capable of competing successfully with companies across the world. We recognise the vital role Airbus, and its supply chain, play in the UK.

“Aerospace is a sector that we are rightly proud of in the UK. It stimulates innovation across industry, demonstrates our capability to work with the most advanced technologies, and provides high-quality, highly skilled employment. It is a sector at the heart of our advanced manufacturing strategy.”

Click here to read more about the Government’s campaign ‘Building Britain’s Future.’


Web 2.0 for business

1 05 2008

British entrepreneurial talent has recently been on tour in Silicon Valley as part of a government-backed project to provide a window into the UK’s start up scene.  Twenty companies were chosen from over a hundred for the first Web Mission 08 to showcase the high level of technology emerging beyond the Valley.  In addition, the Telegraph noted that Web 2.0 is producing a new wave of entrepreneurs with London acting as the epicentre for many of the developments. 

However, two surveys indicate that not all SMEs are able to take advantage of developments in technology:

  • Although Web 2.0 tools have the potential to transform business, many companies are still reluctant to implement them because of security fears, a survey by KPMG International and The Economist Intelligence Unit revealed in January. Nearly 70% of business executives believe Web 2.0 tools would help employees work more efficiently, a further 75% said the tools would foster innovation within their businesses, and 86% said Web 2.0 would improve knowledge sharing. 
  • A national survey conducted by researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, found that the government is failing to act as a helpful source of advice for SMEs during their adoption and use of information and communication technology (ICT).  As a result, these businesses are not using ICT to its full potential.  The survey found that ecommerce isn’t really making much of an impact (in the sectors surveyed) and SMEs don’t find government helpful as a source of advice in this area.

[See also: The 101 most useful websites for business from The Telegraph]