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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, 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 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


4Manufacturing® is a tool, developed in partnership with industry, that helps manufacturers deploy digital technologies and realise the Industry 4.0.

Digital Manufacturing

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.

Product Innovation

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).

Sustainable Manufacturing

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.

Funding Opportunities

NATEP: helping SMEs innovate in aerospace Autumn 2020

UK registered micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million for industry led civil aerospace research projects.

Opens: 05/10/2020 Closes: 18/11/2020

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Innovation continuity loans: Strand 2 October 2020 follow-on competition

Innovate UK is offering up to £210 million in loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and third sector organisations that have a challenge in continuing, completing or following on an innovation project. Loans are for organisations that find themselves facing a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funds resulting directly from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opens: 01/10/2020 Closes: 04/11/2020

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Robotics for a more resilient future: R&D strand

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £6 million in ISCF grant funding for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. This strand is for industrial research and experimental development with project size of £75,000 to £500,000.

Opens: 12/10/2020 Closes: 20/11/2020

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#IdeasMeanBusiness: The design to manufacture journey

14.00 - 15.00 | Online

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BioFabrication: 3D printing - What is it and what can it do for you?

10.00 - 12.00 | Online

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Transforming Foundation Industries: Investor Partnership Programme Event

14.00 - 15.30 | Online

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Hardware start-ups: why clearly communicating your idea is just as critical as getting the technical bit right

Getting a physical product to market requires breadth of expertise and experience. Support from others is essential. Abi Hird from the KTN Manufacturing team proposes 3 ways to think about sharing your idea.

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Made Smarter Technology Accelerator - Digital Catapult

The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a national match-funded programme for medium and large manufacturers, designed to shape the UK’s technology adoption directly into industry.

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