Innovate UK: Manufacturing and materials

Information about Innovate UK’s manufacturing and materials programme for businesses that want to seek funding or find connections.

The UK economy has a strong base in high value manufacturing and advanced materials. It underpins sectors such as aerospace, automotive, energy, transport and process industries.

The UK is an attractive location for foreign direct investment. It is also an exporter of manufactured products. We need to make sure we encourage the highest-value activities to stay in, or move back to, the UK.

We can do this by making sure that businesses have access to the best equipment, skills and expertise. We will help them test and prove their solutions. We will also help them access the latest manufacturing and materials technologies.

Innovate UK: Opportunities in manufacturing and materials

Increasing the number of UK companies that base their operations in the UK will reduce the trade gap. It will also increase exports.

Our priority areas are:

  • using digital technologies in new ways to increase productivity, systems flexibility and resource efficiency
  • manufacturing readiness at scale
  • supporting automotive and aerospace research
  • early stage manufacturing and materials concepts

Catapults - technology and innovation centres

We have built up a network of Catapults. These are technology and innovation centres that bridge the gap between universities and businesses. Catapults help businesses undertake late-stage R&D and commercialise traditional academic research. The Catapult for this sector is the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. The HVM and Digital Catapults will lead on upgrading UK digital manufacturing capability.

European programmes

We also help UK organisations take part in European research, development and innovation programmes. These include Horizon 2020.

Our work in manufacturing and materials

This section provides information on the sorts of projects that have been supported as part of Innovate UK’s manufacturing and materials programme.

Manufacturing Predictions - The Future of the Manufacturing Industry

Success stories

Find out about some of the successful business projects funded by our manufacturing and materials programme.

Gordon Murray Design: the future of car manufacture

Gordon Murray Design: the future of car manufacture


Read some of our blog posts on manufacturing and materials to get inspiration and information.

  1. Innovate UK: find out more about how we work
Published 7 April 2016
Last updated 18 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added link to delivery plan 2017 to 2018.
  2. Updated latest competitions.
  3. Updated latest competitions.
  4. Updated competitions, our work and success stories collections.
  5. Updated latest competitions.
  6. Updated competitions.
  7. Updated 'funding competitions'.
  8. Updated 'funding competitions'.
  9. Updated 'funding competitions'.
  10. Updated note on delivery plan publication.
  11. Updated 'funding competitions'.
  12. Updated 'funding competitions'.
  13. Added "UK manufacturing: 170 share £25 million for innovative projects" news story.
  14. Added "funding competitions" section
  15. Linked directly to all Manufacturing and materials blogs
  16. First published.