Innovation doesn’t happen here? Don’t believe it!

Written by: Tim Fryer | Published:

One of the continuing claims made by those who should know better is that UK design manufacturing is in the decline. Some go as far as saying that manufacturing and design have left the UK.
But it's not the case. While high volume, low value manufacturing has gone elsewhere, the UK's manufacturing sector has developed a global reputation for its ability to produce low volume, high value goods to high levels of quality.

Confirmation, if it were needed, comes from InnovateUK, which has just awarded £25million to 170 partners in 64 projects following a competition targeting the better use of materials and improved manufacturing techniques.
Simon Edmonds, manufacturing and materials director at Innovate UK, said: “The quality of applications from manufacturers across the country was of exceptionally high standard, which shows the appetite of our businesses to innovate and grow.”
Winning projects included: a system for the distributed manufacture of office furniture, in which a manufacture-on-demand approach enables local producers to compete with global companies; a metamaterial that speeds diagnostics by enhancing the signal in MRI scanners; and the use of post-consumer scrap aluminium from automotive sources for recycling and reuse. Other projects address novel heat exchangers, better hip replacement technology, automotive composites and polymer/metal jointing technology.
Who says innovation doesn’t happen in the UK?

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