Driving productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.

Vision 2050: A breath taking
and daunting challenge

For the UK to reach its Net Zero target by 2050, manufacturing will be asked to do a great deal more than scale back energy usage and increasing recycling. It will require a root and branch re-think of every element of a product’s manufacture, from design through to the materials that make it. And that includes a plan for its post-life future too. Innovate UK’s Vision 2050 initiative pulls together everything that needs to change into a single document that has now launched £30m worth of research projects. This panel discussion, featuring project lead Paul Gadd, Dep Director of Innovate UK, Chris Dungey, Chief Technology Officer at the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and Ayantika Mitra, Business Strategy Director at TISICS, an SME creating revolutionary lightweight materials for the aerospace sector, debates Vision 2050’s exciting opportunities – and daunting challenges.

The Surfactant Revolution

Decarbonising manufacturing is not just green steel and developing new, carbon-free materials supply chains. 
It is also about decarbonising some of the most common materials in daily use: cleaners. Indeed anything that foams through the chemicals known as surfactants.

Close to 85% of all surfactants globally are derived from petrochemicals. Thanks to a grant from Innovate UK, which in turn opened the door for investment, Wallasey-based Holiferm Ltd has developed a viable, biological alternative to traditional surfactants. And is starting a revolution. 

Unlocking Innovation

Innovate UK has found that half of the young people in the UK think their age is a barrier to business success, with nearly a third lacking the confidence they need to turn their innovative ideas into a reality.

So how much more successful could our economy be if everyone who has a genuinely good idea could be supported in bringing it to life?

This panel discussion introduces some of the winners of the 2020 Young Innovators award, and what an inspiration their stories prove to be!

Innovation in a time of crisis

Manufacturing was hit very hard by the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Not only did broken supply chains and collapsing order books threaten the sector, they also threatened to stop dead in its tracks the programme of manufacturing innovation support run by Innovate UK.

In this panel discussion, we not only hear how the agency stepped in to protect that programme but also launched a swathe of new initiatives that helped the country deal with the pandemic and, in many cases, accelerated manufacturing’s drive to Net Zero.

Powered By An Idea

This is the story of ACT Blade (www.actblade.com), a company that used to focus on designing sails for Americas Cup yachts but saw how their technology could transform the way wind turbine blades are made.

And it is about how a grant from Innovate UK (www.ukri.org/councils/innovate-uk/) meant that agencies of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, together with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult could help turn that idea into a viable reality.