Do you have a manufacturing or product issue that is impacting your productivity and competitiveness?

It might be due to production variability, wastage/failures or production efficiency – or it might be due to product reliability, lifetime or specification.  Is this something that you haven’t been able to solve using off-the-shelf solutions?

With a focus on productivity improvements and increased competitiveness, although not exclusive to any particular  sector, Analysis for Innovators funding is especially relevant for manufacturers who are most likely to see a direct economic impact of product and process improvements. Those with a strong case for support will be given access to the UK’s best scientists and facilities to help address issues using measurement and analysis techniques. This funding call is applicable to manufacturing businesses of any size and could provide the solution you’ve been waiting for., no matter what the size of your business.

In partnership with Innovate UK , scientists and facilities are provided by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the National Measurement Laboratory at LGC (NMI), National Engineering Laboratory (NEL) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

This exciting programme is accessible to businesses of any size and an application just requires you to describe the problem by making a short video.  The competition is in two phases:

Phase One (Expression of Interest): problem description and meetings with leading scientists

To enter the competition, you need to describe your problem and give details of the impact of a solution on your company.  This explanation of the problem will be reviewed by leading scientists who will provide feedback.  The KTN organises meetings with the relevant experts to discuss your problem and provide support if you wish to develop a joint project proposal for Phase Two. Even if your project is not ultimately funded, you will receive valuable advice at this early stage.

Phase Two: submission of joint project proposal

In the second phase, project proposals are reviewed by independent assessors. Those that can best demonstrate the most potential to improve a manufacturing company’s competitiveness or profitability will be selected for funding.

Is your challenge suitable?

Your challenge must relate to an existing manufacturing product or process. It is also key that it’s not something that could be solvable with standard methods. If you have attempted to address the problem previously, it will be helpful to provide some details of this in your application.

The challenge should involve measurement and analysis. Examples could be (but aren’t limited to):

  • capturing data live on the production line with a view to reducing waste or improving manufacturing throughput
  • augmenting¬† existing manufacturing cells to capture and analyse measurements in order to enable new competition-enhancing¬† insights.
  • establishing a means of evidencing consistent product quality through a new non-destructive testing approach
  • creating a measurement system for a specific critical product characteristic or manufacturing process parameter

Full details about the competition can be found here.

KTN is running a competition briefing event on 27 February in London which will outline the competition’s scope. You can register for the London event here.  If you are unable to attend, a webcast is also being held and you can register here.

If you are a manufacturing business and are  interested in applying for this competition, we would encourage you to talk to Abigail Hird or Nicole Ballantyne from the Manufacturing team who can provide guidance and answer any questions you may have.

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