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Government dangles £20m carrot to boost use of high-tech materials

Warwick Ashford

The government plans to invest £20m to encourage UK manufacturers to use high-tech carbon fibre-based composite materials to boost competition with international rivals.

The strong, lightweight materials can used to make electronic devices such as mobile phones, aircraft components and sports equipment.

The initiative is part of business secretary Peter Mandelson's agenda of "industrial activism" to encourage private sector investment in key industries, according to the Financial Times.

The government funding will go to manufacturers that make use of the materials in new products, particularly those made in high-volume using automated production lines.

According to employers organisation the CBI, businesses need to adapt quickly to meet the opportunities offered by new technology such as composite materials.

Technology will form the backdrop for a decade of business change, as companies adjust to life following the recession, the CBI said at its annual conference.


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