HVM Catapult and Made Smarter launch a new Smart Factory Innovation Hubs programme

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult and Made Smarter, the UK’s manufacturing digitalisation movement, have today announced a new HVM

Catapult-led Made Smarter Smart Factory Innovation Hubs pilot. This will see its network offer companies the opportunity to reduce the risk of implementing new digital manufacturing solutions within their businesses.

“Digital technologies have the power to radically transform how we manufacture and deliver the products and services of today and the future. This is more vital than ever given the current challenges of the pandemic and climate change and there are enormous opportunities to innovate across all manufacturing sectors. We have world leading industries, a powerful scientific and research community, a vibrant technology sector and these innovation hubs are being designed to bring that powerful coalition together," said Chris Courtney, Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge Director.

The Innovation Hubs will allow businesses to test quick-fire projects and early-stage technologies in a safe, industry-like environment with expert support. The Made Smarter offering, delivered by the HVM Catapult, will consist of sixteen physical and virtual hubs, giving businesses from sectors like food and drink, pharmaceuticals or aerospace an opportunity to see how they can address live business problems using industrial digital technologies.

Each Smart Factory Innovation Hub will offer:

  1. Sandpit environment for businesses to innovate, develop and de-risk rapidly configurable projects and industrial digital technologies before they are deployed in their own facilities
  2. Technology testbed a ‘plug and play’ space for manufacturing technology providers to test, develop and showcase their solutions on industry use cases. The technology testbed will use the HVM Catapult’s world-class equipment and facilities, and allow providers to test and iterate minimal viable products
  3. Demonstrators of integrated technology solutions where businesses can experience new technologies. The Innovation Hubs will showcase real industry use-cases and facilitate live-learning in an expert environment.

“These new Made Smarter Smart Factory Innovation Hubs will give smaller companies access to world class expert support to turbo-charge new digital innovation and projects. This will deliver that much needed boost to both individual businesses and the economy as a whole, as companies push forward to create the new “must have” technologies of the future in order to compete in the global marketplace," said Juergen Maier, Co-Chair Made Smarter.


The Innovation Hubs pilot will come at no-cost for participating companies. The funding was awarded by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The HVM Catapult Made Smarter Smart Factory Innovation Hubs


Additive Manufacturing

Location: National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, MTC Coventry

Connected Factory

Location: AMRC Factory 2050, Sheffield

Cybersecurity for Manufacturing

Location: cross cutting support- best practice guide

Digital Automation & Logistics

Location: WMG, Coventry

Digital Propulsion

Reconfigurable assembly

Location: MTC Coventry

Digitally supported manual operations

Location WMG, Coventry

Electronics 4.0

Legacy connectivity Location: MTC Coventry

Factory in a Box


Location: MTC, Coventry


Reconfigurable Pharma (RRFE)

Location: MTC Liverpool


Location: CPI, Sedgefield

Legacy Systems

Factory 2050 & Factory of the Future, Sheffield & Rotherham Location: AMRC


Location: CPI Darlington

Radial forge (Coming Dec 2020)

Location: NMIS, Renfrewshire

Composite forming & in-process verification (Coming Feb 2021)

Location: NCC, Bristol


Automated robotic manufacturing assembly

MTC, Coventry

Factory in a Box

Virtual - chemicals


For more information, please visit our website: www.hvm.catapult.org.uk/innovation-hubs

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