Founded in 2011, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVM Catapult) defines itself as the ‘go-to place for advanced manufacturing technologies in the UK’. HMV Catapult was established by Innovate UK a government organisation part of UK Research and Innovation.
The HVM Catapult aims to bridge the gap between business and academia, and turn ideas into reality by providing access to research and development facilities, and expertise that would otherwise be out of reach.
HVM Catapult has seven centres in the UK:
- Advanced Forming Research Centre (Glasgow)
- Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Sheffield)
- Centre for Process Innovation (Wilton & Sedgefield)
- Manufacturing Technology Centre (Ansty)
- National Composites Centre (Bristol)
- Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Sheffield)
- WMG (Coventry)
‘Manufacturing A Clean Green Recovery’
In his final report as CEO before retirement, Dick Elsy CBE, CEO at HVM Catapult reflects on his last eight and a half years, and the decade since the HVM Catapult was founded.
“I deferred my retirement last year to focus on the emergency challenge to build intensive care ventilators for the NHS, and also to support our industrial clients as they fought with the consequences of lockdowns and the stagnation of trade. The key mantra for the HVM Catapult during this difficult phase was to ‘keep the torch lit for innovation’,” said Elsy.
With many resorting to furlough and plant closures, industry focus was on the short-term and damage limitation which the HVM Catapult ssaw a risk that many innovation programmes would fall by the wayside, and as aa result the UK would fall behind.
“The HVM Catapult’s Centres rose to this challenge going to extraordinary lengths to keep our work moving and projects running. This outcome is reflected by our performance in the year, with a 5% increase in revenues over the prior year as the HVM Catapult became the largest advanced manufacturing research capability in Europe,” added Elsy.
The thing that Elsy is most proud of over the last 10 years is the impact the HVM Catapult has had. “Much is said in government circles about ‘evelling up’; what we have seen in the HVM Catapult is genuine industrial transformation. Taking stock of all of this reveals a profound transformation of the UK industrial landscape.”
HVM Catapult 2020/21 in Numbers
- Has worked with 5,897 industrial partners (56% were SME)
- 4,687 SME engagements
- 2,234 commercial projects
- 443 collaborative research and development (R&D) projects
- 261 projects with academic institutions
- 1,404 projects with academic institutions around the world
- 106 original research publications
- £486mn industry R&D directly related to HVM Catapult activity
Discussing the big questions around social, economic and natural distress, HVM Catapult explains that it is working alongside business and government to develop and scale-up new green technologies and processes to reach net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 and avert climate disaster.
“We are supporting manufacturers to make the green products of the future with clean energy and sustainable materials that will not leave a scar on landscapes. We are reducing the environmental impact of both industry and households, and showing how businesses up and down the land can use all resources more wisely and how best to handle products at the end of their life,” commented the report.
“The opportunity for the UK is huge. By developing UK-based supply chains, we can bring highly skilled work back into the places that need it. By taking a lead in the development of environmentally friendly products, processes and technologies, we can grow UK markets while offering global solutions. By building on industrial clusters around centres of innovation, we can inject new energy into landscapes blighted by past industrial decline, supporting that energy with action to build the skills needed to harness new technologies effectively.”
To read the full report and find out more, click here!