- £121m for Made Smarter supporting digital manufacturing
- £315m for the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to support greater energy efficiency in manufacturing
- Both ‘made smarter’ and ‘energy transformation’ should open new pathways for the adoption of efficient digital laser based materials processing
- £70m for Quantum from the Industry Strategy Challenge Fund
- £200m for British Business Bank for venture capital and growth financing should access to the European Investment Bank be unavailable after Brexit.
- £200m for Full Fibre Broadband pilot innovative approaches to deploying full fibre internet in rural locations and a consultation on mandating gigabit-capable connections to new build homes. Underpinning the dependence of society and the economy on optical fibre and photonics technology.
In addition, congratulations to power electronics, awarded £78m As an enabling technology under the Stephenson Challenge which will draw heavily on compound semiconductors, variants of which also have a key role in photonics.
Given the regional strengths in photonics the £120m awarded to the Strength in Places Fund should also offer potential to support clusters of science and innovation excellence.
For those looking to expand these is a new structures and buildings allowance and a temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance for plant and machinery to £1 million.
Those paying the apprenticeship levy will be able to transfer up to 25% of their funds to pay for apprenticeship training in their supply chains, helping to support apprenticeships in SMEs providing key enabling photonics.
The detail is in pages 56-58 of the budget text