The development of new products and services is often the key to growth for any businesses, but for small businesses with limited development budgets, and even more limited time, it can feel like a risky business.
The HVM Catapult helps firms reduce the risks of new product development and supports companies through design, prototyping and testing, without the need for a large capital outlay. Our expertise and facilities give firms the tools and advice they need to test and tweak new product plans before making a commitment to invest, saving valuable time and resources.
Tzuka, a university start-up with a vision to create the most durable sports earphones, worked with MTC to create a shock-proof, impact resistant and operational underwater earphone for the sports enthusiast.
In the first phase of the project, MTC’s Product Manufacturing Incubator provided Tzuka with a de-risked environment in which to develop and commercialise their earplugs, specifically to increase the attractiveness of the new product to investors. Its end-to-end service conducted the mechanical engineering working with Tzuka towards an advanced prototype to increase the robustness of design ready for manufacture and assembly.
Tzuka was then able to make use of the sports facilities on Loughborough University’s campus to conduct competitor testing and is now entering its third phase of the project with MTC.
Thanks to the work conducted with MTC, Tzuka was able to secure investment with Wilkinson Future, taking the product one step closer to commercial market reality.
The AMRC offered design and machining expertise to an entrepreneur developing a watch-style bracelet made from ‘space glass’ that has a custom, uncut diamond in its crown forming the centrepiece of a new luxury lifestyle brand, 6IXT9.
The initial concept was little more than a pencil drawing on a scrap of paper when AMRC engineers started work on turning the rough sketch into a reality In just five days, the AMRC gave the business all it needed to progress its idea: a successful prototype design, a knowledge transfer pack including CAD designs, a suitable machine and cutting tool, and a detailed method for manufacture. The AMRC also used its expertise to carry out further investigation into UK suppliers of the Zerdour® ‘space glass’ material.
Since the 5-day assist programme with the AMRC team, 6IXT9 has registered for design protection in the UK and EU and is looking to take the product to the next phase of development.
RAD Propulsion, a business revolutionising marine electric propulsion, worked with the NCC to define the requirements for a new product line. The NCC provided a diverse team of experienced engineers to investigate potential solutions, including amending the design to aid in manufacturing, exploring alternative manufacturing processes and material options. The NCC team created a number of viable options, and then supported RAD in investigating the recommended manufacturing process.
NCC’s work helped the company identify ways to drive down production costs by using less wasteful processes and improve productivity by reducing the time needed to manufacture a single part, enabling RAD to increase its production rates in the future as required.
NCC’s work ultimately led to the increasing the range of the crafts that the RAD propulsion system is integrated with, opening the business up to new opportunities and markets.