The government-funded High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVM Catapult) has published its annual review which reveals its pivotal role in supporting the national response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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, Mr. Elsy had co-ordinated 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.
The UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult has seen centres across the UK, including in Warwick (at Warwick Manufacturing Group), Coventry and Bristol.
COVID-19 is not the only challenge the UK faces. 2019/20 saw a landmark commitment for the UK to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The report shows that the HVM Catapult is already having an impact, enabling innovation in transport, energy generation and manufacturing processes to drive down emissions and deliver economic gains for the UK.
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 said:
“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.
“The High Value Manufacturing Catapult will step forward to play a full part in the UK’s economic resurgence.”
The High Value Manufacturing Catapult brings together seven institutions of excellence across a broad range of sectors to support UK manufacturing in the commercialisation of new technologies. With more than £800 million of assets, supporting industry and academia, it represents the greatest concentration of advanced manufacturing capability in the UK. The organisation focuses its research and development on key areas of high value manufacture, including use of metals and composites in addition to process manufacturing technologies and bio-processing. The Catapult brings together knowledge, expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to help UK businesses innovate to develop novel products and/or manufacturing processes.