Manufacturing businesses will be able to improve their productivity and upskill their workforce with support from a £14 million fund.
The Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund, which has scope to increase up to £18 million depending on demand, will invite public bodies, academic organisations and charities to enhance their existing equipment and training services with funding distributed through a competition. This support will help businesses develop their manufacturing capabilities.
To launch the first funding call, Economy Secretary Derek Mackay visited Optos in Fife, a leading medical technology company that designs, develops and manufactures ultra-widefield retinal imaging devices.
Mr Mackay said:
“Scotland has an innovative and diverse manufacturing sector with world-class companies competing in international markets. However we need to make sure businesses of all sizes have the right tools and resources to lead the way in this rapidly evolving marketplace.
“This £14 million fund will provide free support to help small and medium sized businesses advance their research, develop new processes or products, and make their systems more efficient and effective. It will help to address some of the challenges manufacturers face when it comes to tapping into global markets, and provide access to training for their workforce.
“This investment will support our ambitions for Scotland to be a country inventing, designing, developing and manufacturing key products and technologies that will drive the world in decades to come.”
Information on the application process is available here.
Around 185,000 people are currently employed in manufacturing jobs in Scotland with manufacturing accounting for 54% of international exports.
The Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund is supported by £14 million of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and contributes to delivering the ambitions set out in the Manufacturing Action Plan.