Videos of manufacturing innovations

High-value manufacturing in the UK has a major role in accelerating UK economic growth.

Take a look at these videos, which showcase some of the UK manufacturers Innovate UK has funded.

Versarien: pre-revenue to £5 million in 3 years

Versarien was founded at the end of 2010 to commercialise an innovative process for making metallic foams developed at the University of Liverpool.

It has resulted in rapid growth – from 2 people working out of a garage to a £5m business working on 4 sites and with a listing on the London stock exchange.

Neil Ricketts, founder and chief executive, said:

If we had not got that first grant, there is no way we would have been able to pursue that market or create jobs. It took the risk out for our shareholders and created a huge amount of validation. It said that we had something very good.

The business, based in Gloucestershire, specialises in commercialising advanced materials technologies and is now working with metal foams, graphene and extruded aluminium. It is targeting £6 billion global markets and expects to continue to grow.

Following its launch on the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in June 2013, the business is well-funded and has been able to acquire 2 businesses, Total Carbide Ltd and 2-D Tech Ltd.

It now employs 105 people across 4 subsidiary companies, Versarien TechnologiesDV Composite Tooling and the 2 acquisitions.

2-DTech unlock graphene’s potential 

University spin-out, 2-DTech, is scaling up its production of the high-strength material graphene to commercial levels with support from Innovate UK.

The business was set up by the University of Manchester about 3 years ago mainly to make graphene samples for researchers in Manchester and elsewhere.

Since its acquisition by rapidly growing materials business Versarien a year ago, 2-DTech has focused on scaling up from sample production to making graphene at a commercial level for bigger industrial applications.

Managing director Dr Nigel Salter said:

I’d like to think that from about a year on we will be talking about hundreds of kilograms of product if not tonnes of product a year, as opposed to a few grams a week. 

Tinsley Bridge - improving the suspension of Warrior fighting vehicles

Sheffield based steel vehicle suspension manufacturer, Tinsley Bridge, was approached by British Aerospace Engineering (BAE) to help with an urgent problem.

The British army desperately needed to improve the suspension of its Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle and time was of the essence.

Mark Webber, Managing Director of Tinsley Bridge said:

They were increasing the weight of the vehicles and the suspension couldn’t cope, and they came to us because we are experts in this field.

With funding support from Innovate UK, Tinsley Bridge was able to fast track the development of its suspension technology.

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