Innovate UK: 10 years shaping the future

Posted on 14 Nov 2017 by The Manufacturer

Simon Edmonds discusses the latest news from Innovate UK, including attendance at The Manufacturer Live in Liverpool and the new £20m low-carbon technologies investment competition.

Oxensis Ltd manufactures dynamic pressure sensors that operate at extreme temperatures – here, test development engineer Kassem Hamad prepares equipment at Oxsensis’ facility at their Harwell Campus in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
Test development engineer, Kassem Hamad, prepares equipment at Oxensis’ facility at Harwell Campus in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

It is 10 years since Innovate UK was first established as an independent body. In a new brochure – Ten Years Shaping the Future – we reflect on the achievements of a number of businesses that we have supported by helping them take their innovative ideas to market, and the impact they have had on the UK economy.

I’d strongly recommend you read this new brochure – it includes some excellent examples from the manufacturing and materials sector. Take engineering firm Oxensis; they have grown from just four people to a 26-strong team, with an annual turnover of more than £2m.

Oxensis manufactures dynamic pressure sensors that operate at extreme temperatures. The firm has recently concluded an aero engine instrumentation partnership deal with Parker Aerospace.

Also featured are Versarien, which has grown from a two-person garage start-up to a multi-million-pound advanced materials manufacturing firm in just three years. Versarien now employs 105 people out of four sites in the UK.

The Manufacturer Live

I am looking forwarding to speaking at this month’s The Manufacturer Live series of events between 15-16 November at Exhibition Centre Liverpool. I shall be speaking about the opportunities for manufacturers through the government’s investment in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund on the morning of Day two in the Leaders Conference.

Innovate UK is pleased to be sponsoring Innovation Alley, which is part of the Smart Factory Expo – this will be a dynamic showcase for new manufacturing entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses.

Colleagues from our manufacturing and materials sector team will be present at the nearby High Value Manufacturing Catapult stand (SO10), so please come and visit us to find out more about the support Innovate UK can provide for you.

This article first appeared in the November issue of The Manufacturer magazine. To subscribe, please click here.

Competitions latest: £20m available for low-carbon technologies

Businesses can apply for a share of £20m to support development of zero emission technologies for a range of vehicles. Companies can lead research and development projects into low-emission technologies for cars, motorbikes, lorries and vans as part of a long-term funding plan for the UK to lead the way in new vehicle development.

Innovate UK and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) have up to £20m to invest in new vehicle technologies. This is the 14th competition under their integrated delivery plan (IDP). Further details are available at: For the first time, a portion of the money is being set aside to support research into technologies for medium and heavy goods vehicles.

The government’s ambition is for nearly all cars and vans on UK roads to be zero emission by 2050. It aims to support the acceleration towards zero-emission vehicles through technology development, particularly where this can significantly reduce system costs.

Funding for the competition includes £15m from OLEV and £5m from the Faraday Battery Challenge. This is the part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund that will particularly support battery technology.

The competitions for research and development and feasibility funding are open, and the deadline for applications is midday on 13 December 2017. For more information please visit:

Simon Edmonds, director of Manufacturing and Materials, Innovate UK.
Simon Edmonds, director of Manufacturing and Materials, Innovate UK.

Innovate UK

For more information on any of Innovate UK’s funding opportunities, please contact the customer support service:

0300 321 4357

[email protected]

Feedback! All feedback gratefully received. I can be found on Twitter: @SJSEdmonds