To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of innovation, research and development to the future viability of the British steel industry.
The UK is a world leader in advanced manufacturing sectors such as automotive and aerospace, which continue to grow rapidly. These industries all require high value, continually improving steel products in order to remain competitive, and therefore innovation will continue to play an important role in the future of the UK steel industry. The Steel Council recognises this; UK Steel are leading the Future Capacity and Capabilities working group which is currently undertaking work to better identify where innovation and R&D is needed to meet future requirements for steel products, and how industry and Government can work together to support this.
Since 2010 we have been supporting the steel sector by offering grants totalling £29 million and loans totalling £33 million towards projects including:
o The development of facilities, such as the R&D centre at Warwick University. o Development of new products. o And investment in training, skills and apprenticeships.