A new funding scheme for West Midlands SMEs is aiming to award 200 grants over the next two years in a bid to help manufacturing businesses boost their competitiveness.
The West Midlands ‘Metrology for Industry’ initiative, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Coventry University Enterprises, is being launched to assist organisations in the region that are looking to improve accuracy and efficiency in production processes.
Companies will be able to take advantage of grants to help with the cost of engaging an industry expert in metrology – defined as the ‘science of measurement’ – to review current manufacturing processes and highlight areas where metrology could enhance the use of resources and equipment.
Further grants of up to £10,000 will then be available to access additional specialist support to follow up on the review and ensure its recommendations are implemented effectively.
Pilot programmes have revealed that while awareness of metrology in industry is low, the potential benefits for businesses were huge and in almost all sectors accurate measurement is becoming increasingly important.
Petar Stojić from Coventry University Enterprises said: “There’s an increasing interest in and awareness of metrology as a cost-effective business improvement tool. The need for precise measurement affects almost every part of everyday life and business, so it follows that if an SME excels in this area then consumer confidence will grow as well. We hope and expect that this new grant scheme will prove a popular and essential business support initiative over the next couple of years.”
Norman Price, deputy chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee, said: “To ensure longevity and growth, businesses must continually strive to improve and develop by assessing their efficiency and look to make changes by implementing different technologies and techniques. Many of these imply improved accuracy, dependent on modern metrology where external facilities and help are required. Yesterday’s measurements are not good enough for tomorrow’s products and processes.
“I am pleased that we have been able to offer £500,000 of support through the European Regional Development Fund to the project, recognising this important business improvement need.”
West Midlands businesses interested to take advantage of the scheme should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 024 7623 6326.