High Value Manufacturing Catapult celebrates first birthday
In an effort to encourage Britain’s economic growth, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has been creating knowledge centres across the country that bridge the gap between science, academia and business. Called ‘catapults’, the first of these has just reached its first birthday. Will Barton, Head of Manufacturing at TSB, was recently interviewed about his views on the High Value Manufacturing Catapult by ScienceOmega.com.
Opened in October 2011, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is composed of seven centres. They work together with the common goal of accelerating the process of commercialising cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. The catapult is open to innovation within all forms of manufacture using metals and composites, as well as process manufacturing technologies and bio-processing.
Will Barton explains that the High Value Manufacturing Catapult aims to double the part UK manufacturing contributes to GDP over the next 30 years, and hopes that positive progress within its remit will guarantee the catapult’s longevity.
Acknowledging the strength of many UK universities providing an abundance of innovative technology, he states: ‘We want to try to commercialise more of these technologies in the UK than have been captured here in the past. We need to constantly work to bridge this gap; at the Technology Strategy Board, we call it “concept to commercialisation”. Catapult centres are all about taking technologies from the test bed and getting them ready for commercial production.’
Having enjoyed healthy progress during its first year, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult aims to raise its profile further over the coming years, to further integrate inter-science knowledge bases, and to continue evolving so that it can serve more industries.