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Bridging the gap from innovative concept to manufactured reality

Bridging the gap from innovative concept to manufactured reality

High Value Manufacturing Catapult

2 min read Partner content

To achieve global success, the UK must turn its brainpower into making and selling things. The High Value Manufacturing Catapult explains how it is working with industry to make that happen.


The UK is an inventive nation, but we’ve not been great at turning our many ground-breaking ideas into commercially manufactured products.

Yet in today’s challenging economic environment, it is critically important that we base our economy on ‘making things’ and selling them to export markets.

Scaling up promising early stage inventions, be they new products, processes or materials, from initial prototype through to industrial scale production is a risky and often high cost activity. It may require significant investment in equipment, facilities, and human resources, without any guarantee of success. It is no surprise that many inventions do not make it through to commercial reality.

With the establishment of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVM) in 2011, the Government took an important step towards addressing this issue. During its first five years of operations, the HVM Catapult has firmly established itself as the go-to-place for advanced manufacturing technology in the UK.

Its seven centres across the country consistently see industry demand exceeding expectation. In 2015-16, more than 3,000 businesses accessed – and paid for - the Catapult’s services. More than half were SMEs.

The Catapult offer is based on providing open access to industrial scale advanced equipment that is normally out of reach of industry. In Rotherham centre, for example, it has the largest machining capability of any research environment in the world, and in Coventry it houses one of the world’s most powerful commercial lasers.

This equipment is combined with the brainpower of experienced scientists and engineers and, importantly, R&D input from both small and medium-sized businesses and large companies. Businesses collaborate for mutual benefit, without compromising commercial confidentiality.

In our ultra-competitive world, the UK can’t compete on cost. But it can compete with its world class brainpower and realise its great ideas into tangible value-added products and services.This is where the HVM Catapult is proving to be a successful formula. It is a great example of government and industry working together to build long term value for the UK.

A recent economic impact study shows that the Catapult has achieved £15 net benefit to the UK economy for every £1 of Government core funding it has received and

To mark its 5 year anniversary, Secretary of State Sajid Javid joins HVM Catapult at its reception at the House of Commons Churchill room on 28 June from 4pm to 6pm.

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