Digital Catapult and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Join Forces to Address Sustainability Challenges in UK Manufacturing

Digital Catapult and High Value Manufacturing
  • Digital Catapult and the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult receive £4 million funding.
  • The funding aims to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions for sustainability in the UK manufacturing sector.
  • The initiative is funded by the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge at Innovate UK.
  • The startups’ solutions aim to improve productivity, cut costs, and reduce carbon emissions.

Digital Catapult and HVM Catapult Awarded £4m for Sustainability Programme

Digital Catapult and the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult have received £4 million from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). The funding aims to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions specifically designed to tackle major sustainability challenges in the UK manufacturing sector.

Transforming UK Manufacturing Through Advanced Digital Technologies

The two Catapults, along with industry partners and innovative small businesses, are working together to transform the manufacturing sector in the UK. By leveraging advanced digital technologies, they aim to achieve greater resource efficiency and energy efficiency (REEE) in line with the industry’s journey to net zero.

The Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator

The Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator program aims to drive sustainable economic growth by expediting the adoption of industrial digital technologies (IDT) in manufacturing. This initiative seeks to overcome the traditionally long and costly process of implementing digital solutions in the industry.

Addressing Environmental Objectives and Net Zero Transition

The programme comes in response to the UK Government’s environmental objectives and the need to transition the manufacturing sector towards net zero. Manufacturing contributes over 11% to UK GVA but also accounts for 12% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. The project aligns with the government’s targets of reducing CO2 emissions and achieving a 68% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030.

Collaboration to Prototype Innovative Solutions

Digital Catapult and HVM Catapult will collaborate with five industry partners to identify two sustainability challenges each. Ten startups will then join the programme to develop and pilot innovative solutions using artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies.

Driving Productivity, Cost Reduction, and Emission Cuts

With the support of Digital Catapult and HVM Catapult experts, the startups’ solutions will enable the manufacturing partners to improve productivity, reduce costs, and lower carbon emissions. Over the two-year programme, the industrial partners are projected to generate a combined value of £2.75 million from their £625,000 investment.

Quotes from Key Figures

Katherine Bennett, HVM Catapult CEO, said: “By bringing together industry heavyweights, technology developers and subject-matter experts to prove-out ideas and develop them rapidly, this programme can find solutions to the biggest challenges facing manufacturers right now. Through this, we can deliver a UK manufacturing sector that is resilient, flexible, productive and – vitally – environmentally sustainable.”

Jeremy Silver, Digital Catapult CEO, said: “The UK’s vibrant tech startup sector is a deep well of untapped opportunity for manufacturing industries. Resource and energy efficiency gains are examples of the ways in which advanced digital technologies – and the innovative startups that use them – support growth and sustainability gains for industry through new products and services that can disrupt traditional approaches.” Silver points to successful programs like the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator and the Made Smarter Innovation Digital Supply Chain Hub, which have driven private investment and tangible impact with small amounts of public money.

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