KTN’s Manufacturing team helps manufacturers to innovate, and innovators to manufacture. We work with a broad spectrum of organisations, sectors and technology areas, advising on innovation and connecting to partners, experts, facilities and funding.

Digital manufacturing brings together new technologies such as AI, IIOT, additive manufacturing, robotics and automation, blockchain and immersive technologies. We are working with smart factories to drive improved productivity, efficiency, resilience and competitiveness. Together with Robotics & AI, Immerse UK and others we can make the right connections to cutting edge technology and knowledge, through Manufacturing Made Smarter on an impartial basis.

Product Innovation requires careful navigation of the design to manufacture journey. Successfully delivering a physical product to market (i.e one that requires manufacturing) presents challenges over and above those that non-manufactured products face. As well as technical knowledge and diversity of skills, expertise and strong relationships are key to driving change. KTN can share learning across our network and through our D2MGuide, and make the connections you’ll need to deliver on your innovation.

Sustainable, resilient manufacturing. The world is changing. Manufacturers are improving the products they make and the way they make them. This reduces our environmental footprint, increases resource efficiency and creates competitive advantage. Energy efficiency, circular economy, remanufacturing and industrial symbiosis are all areas we specialise in as a team.

We help manufacturers and innovators to improve their processes across all these areas by making impartial connections, across the UK and globally, with the right partners, suppliers and funding channels including Innovate UK and other funding sources.

Our current focus in this area

Advancement in additive manufacturing technologies has seen the evolution of 3D printed parts move rapidly, providing the opportunity for new innovation within the manufacturing world. As companies can now design for additive manufacturing to complement traditional manufacturing processes, there has been a huge shift in its use, particularly within aerospace, medical, transport, energy and consumer products.

Digital manufacturing promises improved productivity, sustainability, resilience and the creation of high value jobs. The industrial digital technology (IDT) innovator seeking to make an impact in the physical world stands to benefit from the transformation of UK manufacturing.

Turning an idea into a scalable, commercial product is a challenge that faces many entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs. Developing a new product, new functionality or new customer experience can be difficult and success may not always happen. 97% of hardware startups fail (compared with 70% of tech start-ups).

The world is changing at an ever greater pace, and manufacturers are responding – improving the products they make and the way they make them. This enables reduced environmental footprint and improved resource efficiency, but also creates benefits such as competitive advantage and a closer alignment with the customer’s needs.

Related Opportunities

Innovate UK Transformative Technologies

Opens: 20/02/2023 Closes: 29/03/2023

UK registered small and micro businesses who have not been funded by Innovate UK in the past can apply for a share of up to £20 million for affordable, adoptable and investable innovations in transformative technologies.

More Information

Battery manufacturing training initiative: expression of interest

Opens: 07/03/2023 Closes: 04/04/2023

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million to establish at least one training initiative for battery manufacturing. This funding is from the Faraday Battery Challenge. This is a phase 1 EoI of a potential 2 phase competition.

More Information

Semiconductor manufacturing scale-up - feasibility

Opens: 27/02/2023 Closes: 29/03/2023

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £1.5 million. This is part of a feasibility study into ways to improve and scale-up semiconductor design and manufacture within the UK.

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Launchpad: Advanced Manufacturing CR&D Liverpool City Region, Round 2

Opens: 13/02/2023 Closes: 29/03/2023

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £3 million for business led projects that grow activities in the advanced manufacturing innovation cluster centred on the Liverpool City Region.

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Sustainable bio-based materials and manufacture: CR&D

Opens: 07/03/2023 Closes: 03/05/2023

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £12 million for collaborative research and development. This is to develop step-change improvements to sustainable biomanufacturing in the UK.

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Resource efficiency for materials and manufacturing: CR&D

Opens: 31/03/2023 Closes: 26/05/2023

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £12 million for ambitious collaborative R&D projects to support UK materials and manufacturing organisations to become significantly more resource efficient.

More Information

Related Events and Recordings


Reimagine Materials and Manufacturing Event

10.00 - 16.00 | London

Register for this event

Made Smarter Innovation CR&D Briefing Webinar

10.00 - 12.30 | Online

Watch now

Exploring the Future of UK AI: Scoping Event

10.00 - 11.00 GMT | UK

Watch now
See all events

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Programmes related to Manufacturing

Medicines Manufacturing

Medicines Manufacturing

Innovate UK’s Medicines Manufacturing programmes aim to drive the de-risking and adoption of highly innovative flexible, agile and scalable manufacturing technologies through a culture of collaboration that will drive the growth of this critically important manufacturing sector.

Made Smarter | Innovation Network

Made Smarter | Innovation Network

From 2021 to 2025, KTN will be working on behalf of UKRI to join communities together to transform UK manufacturing. Join the Made Smarter Innovation Network and help us drive positive change.

For general enquiries regarding our Manufacturing sector contact us now


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