Meet the Advanced Manufacturing KTM

Posted on: 15/12/2022

The Innovate UK KTN Meet the Industrial Technology & Manufacturing Team article series is an opportunity to find out more about the specialists within the team, and how they can help you find funding competitions as well as support you in developing your technology and organisation’s capabilities.

This month, Karl McCracken, Advanced Manufacturing Knowledge Transfer Manager (KTM) at Innovate UK KTN, shares what his work involves.

What does your job role involve?

“The KTM role is about networking with organisations to explore ways Innovate UK KTN can support them, help businesses to discover valuable funding opportunities, and facilitate the creation of collaborative partnerships. The Advanced Manufacturing sector intersects with many of the specialist sub-sectors which have their own teams within Innovate UK KTN, so as well as building those external relationships, I also have a network of internal experts who can help businesses develop specific technologies.”

What does a typical day/week look like at KTN?

“I am new to Innovate UK KTN, so I am currently developing my understanding of our current projects and processes, and how we deliver the depth of support that business needs. Alongside this, I’m working on the Made Smarter Innovation Network, which has a lot of upcoming funding, activities and events.”

What’s your biggest priority at the moment?

“I’m providing support to an upcoming Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) funding call for robotics and automation, which is set to go live at the start of 2023. We’ll be putting on events over the next few months to help interested businesses and researchers to build important relationships and get involved with this opportunity.”

What upcoming technology advancements/innovations are you excited about in your sector/industry/area of work?

“I am excited to provide specialist advice that enables manufacturers to build innovative technologies, make better use of their data, and embrace the productivity gains that robotics and automation can bring. My long-term priority is to help manufacturing businesses innovate and supporting in the development of net zero solutions.”

Tell us about something exciting you’re working on?

“For the robotics and automation Collaborative Research & Development fund, I’m particularly looking forward to the events we’re going to host. The £6M fund will provide 50% grant funding towards projects of between £200K and £4M, but the keyword in its title is collaborative: This means businesses and research organisations working together, which always generates impressive results.”

What is your previous work experience?

“I have spent around 20 years working in or consulting for manufacturing firms. But I’ve also worked for sustainability-focused charities, and most recently spent four years at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership where I was the advanced manufacturing sector programme manager.”

Contact us

Make sure to visit the manufacturing as well as industrial technology sections of the Innovate UK KTN website to find out more about how the team can support your business.

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