Innovate UK’s £18.4m manufacturing R&D boost

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:
Simon Edmonds, director for manufacturing and materials at Innovate UK

The strength of innovation in UK manufacturing and materials has been highlighted with the latest results of a £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. Examples of the projects funded include:

  • PPG Industries (UK) Limited is 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 Limited, 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 Limited is 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 Limited is leading a consortium, 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.

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.”


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