HVM Catapult linked to more than £500m in UK R&D activity

Posted on 8 Jul 2020 by Jonny Williamson

The High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult has published its annual review capturing the impact of its work over the past 12 months to boost the performance of UK manufacturing

The HVM Catapult brings together seven institutions of excellence across a broad range of sectors to support UK manufacturing in the commercialisation of cutting-edge technologies.

With more than £800m of assets, it represents the greatest concentration of advanced manufacturing capability in Europe.

Supporting both industry and academia, the HVM Catapult brings together knowledge, expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to help UK businesses innovate to develop novel products and/or manufacturing processes.

Its 2019/20 review highlights just some of the thousands of projects the Catapult has been involved in, helping manufacturers of all sizes to improve productivity; reduce carbon emissions; develop more resilient supply chains; adopt new technologies, and create more agile manufacturing techniques.

The past 12 months in numbers:

  • 7 centres across 17 locations
  • 4,646 innovation support projects
  • 2,331 projects with SME clients
  • 4,745 SME engagements
  • 1,389 engagements with UK academic institutions
  • 431 collaborative R&D projects
  • £518m industry R&D linked to HVM Catapult activity 


Nowhere is the HVM Catapult’s capacity to respond to crisis more apparent than in its CEO Dick Elsy’s leading role in the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, scaling up ventilator production to help the NHS battle Covid-19.

Within weeks of the Prime Minister’s call to arms, Elsy had coordinated a vast industrial consortium with one aim: manufacture as many ventilators as possible in the shortest time with the precision needed for patient safety.

The results have been extraordinary, showing the deep trust placed in the HVM Catapult to convene partners and deliver a vital programme of true national scale in a breathtakingly short timeframe. It has shown British industry and the HVM Catapult at its best.

AMRC Cymru producing life-saving ventilators - image 3

Looking forward, the report brings out the HVM Catapult’s ambition to play a leading role in supporting recovery as the UK emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Dick Elsy commented: “As the most significant advanced manufacturing research body in Europe, we are determined to use our position to help industry to get back on its feet after the Covid-19 crisis and, importantly, keep the torch lit for innovation. This will be crucial to our competitiveness as all nations fight to return to a new normal.

“We will also use this opportunity to show leadership in driving progress towards achieving net zero by 2050. I know that the manufacturing community can deliver for the planet in a similar way it delivered for the country in its time of need.”

*All images courtesy of HVM Catapult