Secretary of State visits APC supported project
Our CEO, Ian Constance, met with Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Kwasi Kwarteng, yesterday (Thursday 13 January) to showcase how support for R&D in automotive manufacturing can help grow jobs and industry.
Ian joined Kwasi and MP Ian Liddell-Grainger at Electrified Automation in Bridgwater, Somerset.
The company received funding from the APC in 2020 to develop a fully automated manufacturing cell, and has since gone on to achieve significant growth, with a strong order book for 2022. It’s precision technology helps EV businesses both in the UK and abroad to ramp-up manufacturing of their products.
Speaking after the meeting, Ian said:
We’re incredibly proud to see what our APC funding has achieved and are looking forward to seeing how Electrified Automation continue to power forward.
It is a great example of the benefits of investing in low-carbon innovation and strengthening the UK automotive supply chain. Their success is leading to growth and jobs while at the same time helping to decarbonise transport and lower harmful emissions.
The electric vehicle transition is happening now, so we need to make sure we are supporting UK companies across the whole supply chain, to anchor manufacturing in the UK.
Secretary of State for BEIS, Kwasi Kwarteng, said:
Firms like Electrified Automation are at the heart of our plan to grow the economy and create good, high-skilled jobs. That is why we are continuing to back our nation of innovators, supporting them in their early stages of growth with innovation funding, and giving them the tools they need to create great British tech.
Electrified Automation received funding as part of our Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (ARMD) competition. The aim of ARMD was to kick-start innovation back into action after the COVID-19 pandemic brought it to a near standstill, and ensure that late-stage R&D projects continued to accelerate towards net zero.
Their Managing Director, Jim Winchester, explained to Mr Kwarteng how companies in the early stages of growth routinely end up being saddled with debt when they try to take their business to the next level, which makes them attractive to acquisition and often results in them losing ownership of their IP. He said, support from organisations like APC prevents UK manufacturing economic value being exported overseas.
“The problem for UK manufacturing is that this creates a vacuum in the supply chain and we lose the economic opportunities associated with the scaling-up of new technologies to other countries.” He went on to talk about the wider issue of skills shortages the sector and said: “We also need more qualified engineers and technicians to support the expansion of EV technology in the UK.”
In total 12 projects benefitted from £16.5 million of combined UK government and industry investment to develop physical demonstrators of technology that will power the green industrial revolution.