The High Value Manufacturing Catapult Slingshots UK Manufacturing Growth
But if you haven't, we're going to let you in to a little secret that might just springboard that latest innovation you've been wanting to get off the ground.
Set up as a “catalyst for the future growth and success of manufacturing in the UK” the HVM Catapult is a strategic government initiative set up to be “not just another set of technical facilities, but a transforming force for UK business innovation,” according to their website.
What is the HVM Catapult?
Back in 2010, in response to two influential reports from Sir James Dyson and Hermann Hauser, Prime Minister David Cameron earmarked £200 million worth of investment towards “a network of elite technology and innovation centres, to be established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board.”
• Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC)
• The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre
• The Centre for Process Innovation
• Manufacturing Technology Centre
• National Composites Centre
• The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC)
• and the WMG (specialising in Lightweight Technologies and Energy Storage and Management).
These seven high tech centres came to fruition as of 1 October 2011, helping countless businesses to gain access to new funding streams, emerging technology, expertise and equipment. Meanwhile, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has plans for several other Catapults to spring into action in the fields of cell therapy, offshore renewable energy, satellite applications, the connected digital economy, future cities and transport systems.
What are the long-term goals of the HVM Catapult?
“The HVM Catapult's long-term goal is to stimulate growth in the manufacturing sector and more than double the sector's contribution to UK GDP,” they assert.
That's quite the ambition, so how are they going to set about achieving lofty goal?
The collective underlying ambition is to drive manufacturing growth by opening the door to a knowledge pool of industry, government, academic and research experts for engineers to access and fast-track their germinating ideas through to commercial viability. “We work to bridge the gap between early innovation, where the UK has traditionally been strong, and industrial-scale manufacturing, where real wealth is created and the UK is relatively uncompetitive,” they say.
Who has already benefited from the HVM Catapult?
Since it's launch, 1500 businesses including household names like Hewlett Packard, BAE Systems and Tata Steel have benefitted from working with the initiative. Cross-party political support should ensure that this remains a vital cog in the manufacturing sector's future development and will enable Britain to flex it's muscles on the world stage for many years to come.
"The UK has lost self confidence in bringing innovation to market,” says Dick Elsy, CEO of the HVM Catapult. “We've become risk averse both technically and financially. The HVM Catapult set up to fix that, by reducing that risk and giving companies the chance to really add value to the British economy through high-end manufacturing capability," he adds.
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