14 October 2019 Birmingham, England

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which stimulates and supports the commercial application of new technologies through the development of innovative manufacturing processes, has appointed Sarah Newbitt and Clive Johnson as Non-Executive Directors to strengthen its Supervisory Board.

Welcoming the two appointments, Allan Cook CBE, Chair of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Supervisory Board, said:

“I am delighted to welcome two exceptional people to the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Supervisory Board. They bring direct experience of driving innovation in small and bigger businesses and of the challenges faced by innovative firms in competitive global markets. Their combined insight will help the Catapult to build on the excellent progress it has made to date and help guide its journey towards even greater impact.”

Dick Elsy CBE, Chief Executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, said:

“I am greatly looking forward to working with Sarah and Clive as part our Supervisory Board. The skills and experience they bring add to the dynamic of the Catapult at a time of extraordinary technology developments and major change in our economic landscape. Their challenge and input will help the High Value Manufacturing Catapult deliver its mission to grow the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the UK economy

Sarah Newbitt said:

“The HVM Catapult is doing some truly inspiring projects and making a real difference to the competitiveness of UK manufacturing. I am delighted to be joining the Supervisory Board and I am excited about contributing to the continued growth of HVM Catapult’s reach and impact.”

Clive Johnson said:

“I have seen at first hand the great wealth of expertise and advanced technology the High Value Catapult has to offer the UK’s manufacturers.  I am excited to have the opportunity to use my experience of high-tech manufacturing and enterprise to shape the Catapult’s forward path and increase its impact in transforming the UK’s technology and innovation strengths into commercially successful manufacturing applications within entrepreneurial, fast-moving businesses.”

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult is supported by UKRI to drive the growth of the UK manufacturing sector by helping companies of all sizes incubate new technologies and bring them to commercial reality.

Sarah Newbitt

 Sarah spent most of her career at Unilever plc. leading manufacturing and supply chain in UK, European and Global roles. She served on the Board of Unilever UK as Vice-President of Supply Chain for 3 years, before setting up her own Coaching and Consulting practice. She is a Non-Executive Director for Dorner Manufacturing Corp. a global leader in automation & conveying. Sarah is a Chartered Engineer, who studied Engineering at Oxford University and also holds a Professional Certificate in Coaching from Henley Business School. Having spent 25 years in world class manufacturing environments, she understands what UK manufacturers need to do to compete in a global economy and is keen to maximise the positive impact of HVM Catapult on the success of UK manufacturing.

Clive Johnson

Clive is an accomplished entrepreneur with experience of building successful manufacturing businesses across a broad variety of sectors including engineering, electronics, composites and manufacturing. A Non-Executive Chairman to several businesses as well as mentor for a number of start-up technology companies, Clive is an experienced CEO with a background in manufacturing, brand building, global marketing, international distribution, investment and rapid growth. A mechanical engineer by training, Clive has managed and grown a range of businesses from start-ups through to high-tech manufacturing. Clive was CEO at Portsmouth based Magma Structures, builders of the tallest composite Superyachts masts in the world.

 Notes to editors

About the High Value Manufacturing Catapult

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult brings together seven institutions of excellence across a broad range of sectors to support UK manufacturing in the commercialisation of cutting edge technologies. The seven centres are:

  • Advanced Forming Research Centre (University of Strathclyde)
  • Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (University of Sheffield)
  • Centre for Process Innovation (Wilton & Sedgefield)
  • Manufacturing Technology Centre (Ansty, sponsored by the Universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham and by TWI)
  • National Composites Centre (University of Bristol)
  • Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Universities of Manchester and Sheffield)
  • Warwick Manufacturing Group (University of Warwick)

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult was declared open for business by the then Secretary of State Dr Vince Cable at the beginning of October 2011. Since then the Catapult has been operating under a CEO, Dick Elsy CBE, its Management Board (made up of the heads of the seven centres making up the Catapult), and its independent Supervisory Board chaired by Allan Cook CBE.

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s offer is available to firms of all sizes from FTSE-listed companies to SMEs deep in the supply chain.  It includes:

  • Capability which spans from basic raw materials through to high integrity product assembly processes;
  • World-class facilities and skills to scale up and prove high value manufacturing processes;
  • A network of leading suppliers which contribute to key UK industry supply chains;
  • A partnership between industry, government and research in shared goals to make the UK an attractive place to invest in manufacturing and increase the contribution of manufacturing to the UK economy.