Digital Catapult


Accelerating the number of trailblazer companies working with advanced digital technologies in UK manufacturing

We help extract new value from data through the early adoption of advanced digital technologies in the manufacturing sector
Nick Wright

Digital Manufacturing Sector Lead, Digital Catapult


Digital Catapult is uniquely placed to connect the capability of the innovative UK tech ecosystem with opportunities and challenges in the manufacturing sector.

We focus on accelerating the number of trailblazer companies by: 

Developing effective leadership in industrial digitalisation for three advanced digital technology areas:
Future Networks, Artificial Intelligence and Immersive. We are driving early adoption and supporting the development of innovative products, applications and services in manufacturing.

Increasing levels of adoption of advanced digital technologies:
Digital Catapult offers innovation and acceleration programmes that facilitate introductions to startups and scaleups and a community of experts, researchers, corporates and investors. We also provide access to leading-edge test beds and demonstration facilities, which would not exist or be affordable without our intervention. 

Supporting startups and scaleups to leverage innovation assets:
Building on Digital Catapult’s existing and extensive network of small innovative businesses, our innovation programmes attracts and supports startups and scaleups to develop solutions for UK manufacturing. Through this support, we speed up the development and adoption of commercially viable advanced digital technology solutions.

Working across the whole of the manufacturing life cycle:
Digital Catapult’s proven innovation activities helps manufacturers to extract maximum value from data throughout every phase of the manufacturing product lifecycle. 

We work with corporates and smaller innovative companies, academic and research organisations and the investment community, offering short agile engagements which last a few days, through to medium term programmes which last up to three months as well as longer term engagements. 

Helping UK Manufacturing to realise its true potential

The UK Manufacturing sector employs 2.6m people and contributes 70% to business R&D, making the UK the eighth largest manufacturer in the world. In 2016 alone, manufacturing was worth £168bn and contributed to 50% of UK exports.1 The early adoption of advanced digital technologies by the UK manufacturing sector has the potential to grow the UK economy by £455bn, create 175,000 new jobs, increase productivity and cut CO2 emissions over the next 10 years.

The UK Government’s independent review ‘Made Smarter’, explored how UK manufacturing could maximise benefits by increasing the adoption of digital technology. It identified three challenges limiting the UK’s ability to reach its potential. These include, lack of effective leadership, poor levels of adoption (especially amongst small manufacturing businesses) and under-leveraged innovation assets to support startups and scaleups. Digital Catapult is uniquely placed to help UK manufacturing realise its true potential through our technology sector capabilites and ongoing programmes.

1 Made Smarter

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