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The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) is a £345m (€426m) national programme launched in 2012 providing companies with repayable loans and/or grants to cover part of the cost of undertaking one/all of the following:
The aim of the advanced manufacturing supply chain fund is to improve the growth, quality and global competitiveness of the UK advanced manufacturing supply chain and anchor high value work in England. Successful applicants for the AMSCI receive a grant or loan to existing supply chains to grow, or to encourage new suppliers to establish operations.
The scheme is structured in two different funding streams. Stream one is a national scheme organised in different funding rounds covering England and all advanced manufacturing sectors with a particular focus on Automotive and Aerospace sectors, along with Renewable Energy, Chemicals, and Nuclear:
Round 1-4 took place with a minimum level of support of £2m (€2.46m). However, to encourage consortia involving small and medium sized businesses, the funding body considered projects below this level where they could provide strong evidence that they could meet the aims and objectives for this initiative. “AMSCI 2014” envisaged a reduced funding ask of £1m (€1.26m).
Stream two is a £25m (€30.8m) fund covering applicants based in the four LEP areas (Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham and Solihull and Liverpool City Region), operating as part of the automotive and aerospace supply chain, with a minimum level of support of £200,000 (€246,000). Applicants in the four LEP areas can apply for stream two but all applicants can only apply for one of the two streams.
Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative AMSCI – West Midlands and Liverpool City Region
Key Features – First Round:
A second round for the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative West Midlands and Liverpool City Region (WMLCR) programme was recently announced in March 2017.
At the main website of the initiative, there are several case studies, most of which present how the measure supported the work of the small businesses. The case studies are different in their scope and have a joint point in validating the importance of the investment in manufacturing of the Birmingham area.
An evaluation was published in November 2015. It concluded that the overall progress has been limited so far and considerable progress is required before the programme achieves its aggregate spending and output targets. While ongoing monitoring processes are identifying delivery risks at a project level, the aggregate monitoring data available do not enable a conclusive assessment to be made of whether or not the programme as a whole is on course to achieve its overall targets.
However, the projects that have started are generating positive impacts and AMSCI is recognised as being central to the strengthening of supply chain manufacturing activities. However, some projects are behind schedule and this often this relates to changes in commercial priorities or unanticipated issues emerging.
The measure provides sufficient information for the potential beneficiaries. There is an online help-desk to facilitate the questions.
Some of the high priority recommendations of the evaluation were: