Innovate UK’s REforMM programme: the world-class production sprint

Find out more about the exciting work that Innovate UK and Innovate UK KTN will be doing on world-class production to support the Innovate UK Materials and Manufacturing Vision 2050.

Posted on: 08/11/2023

Innovate UK’s 2050 vision document is a re-imagination of materials and manufacturing together. It’s a document that delves into the challenges and opportunities that lie in front of the UK materials and manufacturing sectors in the coming decades. 

What is meant by world-class production in the Innovate UK Materials and Manufacturing Vision? 

The UK has clear potential to become a world-class destination of choice for advanced low-carbon manufacturing. To realise this vision, the three strategic imperatives are for materials and manufacturing to be:  

  • net zero and resource efficient 
  • resilient and responsive 
  • technologically advanced and digital 

To achieve world-class production, innovation needs to focus on: 

  • optimally distributed manufacturing 
  • planned & scheduled production 
  • less waste during production 
  • less unproductive work 
  • less worry about machine failures 
  • optimally adaptive factories 

This all will allow UK manufacturing to thrive with flexible production capacity, minimal material waste, high-quality products, high productivity, and adaptable operations. 

What are the challenges in achieving world-class production in the UK? 

There have already been a number of innovations and technologies that have been developed and the deployment of these technologies and the adoption of new business models is still limited. We are going to need step changes in our manufacturing and for this we need to accelerate the innovation and reach and development (R&D) that will demonstrate these technologies at the relevant manufacturing scale. We’ll also need methodologies that help to select and adopt the right technologies and innovative business models that will deliver the desired environmental, societal, and economic benefits to the UK. 

What are Innovate UK and Innovate UK KTN are going to be doing around world-class production? 

As part of this work, we are investigating the idea of ‘technology stacks’. Each stack is a set of technologies and associated methodologies that when combined, leads to the resource efficient, resilient, and advanced manufacturing production processes that we need to be competitive. Essentially ‘joining the dots’.  

A simple example of this could be taking innovations on condition monitoring and predictive maintenance, coupling this with advances in optimised scheduling and distributed manufacturing as well as increased visibility of the supply chain. Stacking these trends together can lead to increased asset utilisation, resource efficiency, and supply chain resilience, providing us the competitive advantage that is needed. 

Technology stacks would encourage a systems approach for different manufacturing supply chains, helping them identify how we transition towards demonstrating and deployment of disruptive technologies and business models.  

Going forward, we want to bring the manufacturing community together and during our first phase of activities, we want to speak to members of the manufacturing community about the topic of world-class production. We are looking to hold a workshop where we can explore and develop the ideas around technology stacks. 

Next steps 

If you would like to know more or want to get involved in our upcoming activities, or maybe you have a challenge you would like to discuss, then we are keen to hear from you and learn about your thoughts on UK world-class production and the role of innovation. Do you have an example of a technology stack that has enabled world-class production or have thoughts for future technology stacks? Please reach out to our Knowledge Transfer Manager for Process Manufacturing, Michael Burnett.  

Check out the other material on our website about the Materials and Manufacturing Vision 2050 and look out for future content on world-class production, where we will explore the opportunities of technology stacks further. 

Share this article

Related News

Smart Factory Expo 2023: putting manufacturing at the heart of the future


Smart Factory Expo 2023: putting manufacturing at the heart of the future

Smart Factory Expo is an industry leading manufacturing exhibition showcasing the latest digital innovations in technology, processes and thinking beyond Industry 4.0.

Read more
Resource Efficiency for Materials and Manufacturing feasibility study competition winners announced


Resource Efficiency for Materials and Manufacturing feasibility study competition winners announced

This month Innovate UK announced the 20 participants selected to take part in the Resource Efficiency for Materials and Manufacturing (REforMM) feasibility study competition.

Read more
More News

Related programme

Resource Efficiency for Materials and Manufacturing (REforMM)

Resource Efficiency for Materials and Manufacturing (REforMM)

The programme aims for the UK to be a leader in resource efficiency with organisations understanding the environmental, social and economic impact of the full lifecycle and thriving from adoption of resource efficient solutions which are fundamental to UK and global Net Zero ambitions.


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.