Annual review 2021 > Resilience through innovation

Resilience through innovation

New British innovations coming to market bring with them an opportunity to anchor manufacturing in the UK and level up former industrial communities. The HVM Catapult is leading the charge, helping to ensure that UK research has a real impact in every region.

Backing SMEs in manufacturing

It’s small and growing manufacturers that can have the greatest direct impact on communities, creating valuable jobs and investment for local people. Making up 56% of our industrial partners, the HVM Catapult is supporting Britain’s smaller firms to commercialise their ideas and access new markets across the globe.


Deaf community hails new lip-reading face masks

Scientists and healthcare professionals around the world have underlined the importance of face coverings to reduce transmission of the coronavirus. While necessary for public safety, facemasks present huge challenges for the hard of hearing.

Less than five weeks to become the UK’s largest supplier of critical PPE

The Black Country-based Ramfoam secured a contract to supply the UK Government with 3.5 million face visors per week to help protect workers across the public sector. To achieve this, they had to scale their output by 300 times in a matter of weeks.

Bringing nanomaterials to County Durham

As part of the COAST programme, and with the research expertise of Durham University and scale-up experience of CPI at their fingertips, more than 60 SMEs were able to speed their ideas – including 11 products or processes which were completely new – to market.

Putting UK innovation on the world stage

The ‘thoroughbred, highly educated, expert approach’ of the AMRC has helped a South Yorkshire SME to revolutionise how top tier professional golfers practise and how we all watch the game on TV.

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Helping an innovative SME soar

Robop are now looking at what other components can be manufactured using the method developed by the NCC, as well as looking to see if they can bring the manufacturing in-house, which would allow them to upskill their workforce and save costs.

Helping an SME halve lead times and boost sales

The MTC created and supported Raybloc through a development journey to achieve the goals of the business that began with coaching and mentoring the workforce and helping the business to understand the priorities, issues, culture and opportunities of the current-state.

Climbing the wall with Hausbots

With the potential to save thousands of lives, speed is essential. Hausbots identified a potential bottleneck in their product development: compliance with international regulations on radio frequency emissions.

Keeping a watchmakers’ machine tool ticking over

The AMRC’s support means that Loomes & Co now have an improved machining process; knowledge of basic machining practices; skills development including design software; redesigned fixtures; and sample part production. Sometimes it’s the simplest of interventions that give firms the freedom to innovate.

Robotic drilling: sofa, so good

The AMRC completely de-risked the investment by presenting the Keighley-based business, the largest independent cushion manufacturer in the UK, with a feasibility study confirming the technology could work and full specification for a drilling cell – including the equipment and hardware needed.

Developing UK supply chains

Sovereign capability is more important than ever to help tackle the supply chain disruption that can flow from problems at borders, transport hold ups, trade agreement changes and COVID-19. The HVM Catapult is helping local companies and global giants to seize the opportunity of British production and manage their supply chains through difficult circumstances.

Saving the Great British cuppa

Many manufacturers and distributors struggled to meet this demand, with basic products like toilet rolls, tea and pasta disappearing from shelves. Big brand firms were not immune from the difficulties, even household names like Tetley Tea, owned by Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL).

Building up the Scottish 3D-printing supply chain

Additive manufacturing (or 3D-printing) is a transformative approach to manufacturing that allows companies to develop complex shapes which often can’t be created by any other process.

Developing the UK energy supply chain

More than 860 companies have already completed the online F4N assessment, with most receiving ongoing support and development from the Nuclear AMRC’s team of industrial advisors.

Levelling up the UK’s regions

The HVM Catapult is attracting investment to the UK from around the world and and anchoring it in our regions. We use our national capabilities to deliver regional growth, often helping to bring highskilled jobs and prosperity back to deprived communities. The expertise and facilities found in our Centres are a powerful magnet for multinational firms and national institutions who come to locate close to us creating jobs and boosting local economies as they do.

Greening the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial region

The AMRC and Nuclear AMRC will work together to apply their expertise in developing the UK supply chain for the low-carbon energy sector, building on the proven Fit For Nuclear model to meet the challenges of industrial decarbonisation.

Attracting global firms to Renfrewshire

Forging new relationships with both industrial leaders and local communities alike, HVM Catapult’s presence in Renfrewshire is bringing tangible benefits to the region and Scotland as a whole.

Pioneering Modern Methods of Construction for Liverpool’s recovery

The MTC is participating in a programme that could make the Liverpool city region a national centre of excellence for modern methods of construction for housing and related infrastructure.

Developing the next generation of sustainable composites

At the moment, however, 85% of composites are neither reused nor recycled at the end of their life. Instead, the materials end up in landfill, adding to the world’s growing refuse problem.

Supporting the next big thing

Cutting-edge technologies need to be nurtured by experts to move effectively beyond the lab. The HVM Catapult is taking early-stage innovations and demonstrating their usefulness for commercial applications, ready for the next generation of manufacturing.

Quantum leap in data security in UK first

Quantum key distribution (QKD) has been identified as one of the solutions to maintaining this security, using principles from quantum mechanics to keep data encrypted and reliably detect eavesdropping attempts.

Breakthrough in intelligent robotics

The MTC has made a breakthrough in intelligent robotics by developing a system that can teach itself how to pick up unknown objects, without the need for expensive sensors or lengthy programming.

Bringing connected and automated vehicles one step closer

Connected and automated vehicles (CAV), such as self-driving cars, have long seemed like science fiction, but with technological change happening quickly, they are moving closer to reality.

5G Factory of the Future: the smart factory of tomorrow starts today

Efficiency, productivity and sustainability are everything in manufacturing. From advanced product and machine tracking to autonomous warehouse transportation and remote assistance for operators, these digital technologies can help lower production costs, boost productivity and sharpen competitive edge.

Supporting the micromobility revolution

With exciting partnerships with Transport for West Midlands and companies like Voi Technology, WMG is working on a number of projects in micromobility and its wider integration into transport infrastructure.

Decision making robot could revolutionise manufacturing

Using a combination of machine learning and visual recognition, the robot can be taught to make assembly decisions based on the components put in front of it, in a breakthrough development which could save manufacturers the costs of expensive fixed tooling.

Identifying areas for UK growth

The cradle of the first industrial revolution, Britain has historic strengths in many areas of manufacturing, alongside present-day research excellence in many others. The HVM Catapult is working to identify the most promising areas for growth and developing realistic plans to make it happen, building on the UK’s existing

Mapping aerospace innovation to 2035

The UK aerospace industry is the second largest in the world, representing a 17% global market share. It’s right then that the UK should also play a leading role in developing the future of aerospace, including driving down the sector’s carbon emissions.

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