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2 minute read

The £18.4 million manufacturing R&D boost

The strength of innovation in UK manufacturing and materials has been highlighted with the latest results of an £18.4 million R&D competition. Businesses and organisations across the UK have been funded – 130 organisations representing 63 projects – through Innovate UK’s Manufacturing and Materials Round 3 competition.

The majority of these projects are led by small and medium sized enterprises showing the strength of innovation in the UK manufacturing base.

Innovate UK has awarded £18.4m to 63 projects in their latest R&D Competition / Graphic: Getty/iStock


Examples of the projects funded include:

PPG Industries are developing a prototype coating system which will provide a step-change process innovation, increasing the manufacturing efficiency and sustainability for the food metal packaging industry.

• The TexANN project, led by Pireta, is optimising a proprietary process to produce durable, highly conductive textiles for use as wearable antennas, which are crucially snag free, lightweight, and will facilitate a omni-directional system.

Printed Electronics are leading the development of a demonstrator for the robotic manufacture and installation of wiring harnesses through digital and additive manufacturing, which would revolutionise one of the last labour intensive elements of high value manufacturing.

Fiberight are leading a consortia, including Unilever, to develop a process for manufacturing high-grade lactic acid, using waste-derived sugars, recovered from waste heading to landfill. Lactic acid is a bulk chemical commonly used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and is used in the production of bio-plastics.

Announcing the results, Simon Edmonds, Director for Manufacturing and Materials at Innovate UK said: “The quality and scope of these projects is outstanding and highlights the appetite of UK manufacturing and materials companies across the country to innovate and grow.

“This ongoing investment in R&D through our sector competitions, combined with the opportunities for UK manufacturers through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, offers unparalleled levels of R&D support for businesses of all sizes.”

Science Minister, Jo Johnson, added: “These successful projects showcase how companies of all sizes can utilise the UK’s research and innovation expertise to improve their operations and competitiveness, boosting the UK economy and our global standing as a centre of excellence.

“The Government is helping researchers and businesses to develop ground breaking innovations through our £4.7 billion research and development uplift, and along with competitions such as these, is ensuring that our world-leading researchers continue to receive the necessary recognition and support within our Industrial Strategy.”

Follow the link below for a full list of the winning companies

Innovate UK funding competition winners