Manufacturing growth is key to the UK economy. That’s why High Value Manufacturing Catapult is here to help you innovate, scale production and achieve success with our world-class facilities, equipment and expertise. To support your projects, our seven centres of manufacturing innovation can help you identify sources of funding and partners in research institutions and industry. The UKRI has an exciting option for you through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), which is part of the government’s £4.7 billion investment in research and development.

Recently there has been a great deal of activity relating to the ISCF, with a wave of announcements and competition launches. With our friends at Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), we’d like to draw your attention on the best opportunities for manufacturing organisations to play a part in the future of the sector.

Manufacturing Made Smarter

UK manufacturers wanting to adopt the latest digital technologies can now bid for a new £30 million R&D competition.

The R&D competition is part of the wider Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge to support the transformation of UK manufacturing by encouraging the development and integration of industrial digital technologies.  It will fund projects that will help transform the productivity and agility of UK manufacturing, ready for a fast start and with the potential for rapid impact. Projects must be business led and collaborative, with all consortia involving at least one SME.

The competition is now open and will close on 28 August at 12 noon. To find out more about the scope of the competition, eligibility and the application process click here.


Industrial Decarbonisation

The government has announced £170m towards deploying technologies like carbon capture and hydrogen networks in industrial clusters to support our mission to establish the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040.

Additionally, industry will consider investing up to £261m into new technologies to reduce emissions from heartlands of heavy industry such as steel, chemical and refineries in the North East, North West, South Wales and Scotland.

Competitions have not yet been announced, but you’ll be able to keep updated on the developments here.


Other opportunities

There are other opportunities for the manufacturing sector that are not ISCF-related:

  • 5G Manufacturing and Logistics – the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is investing up to £40m in match-funded testbeds and trials projects over the next 2.5 years, starting with this funding competition for the manufacturing and logistics sectors.  More here.
  • Industrial Heat Recovery – the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has also committed £18m through its Heat programme to support the manufacturing industries to recover and use their waste heat.  More here.

We can support you throughout the planning, application and delivery of your manufacturing innovation projects. And we can work in tandem with other resources. Here are a couple you might consider alongside working with HVM Catapult:

  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – This scheme helps businesses in the UK to innovate and grow by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate. For the latest opportunities, click
  • Innovation Loans – Innovate UK is offering up to £10m in loans to micro and SMEs. Loans are for highly innovative late stage projects with the best game changing and/or disruptive ideas or concepts. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact. More

The landscape in innovation funding changes rapidly. To keep up to date with the latest information, get in touch. Or check out KTN’s website here.