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West Midlands in line for £1.5bn manufacturing tech boost, says HVM Catapult

HVM Catapult West Midlands

There is a £1.5bn manufacturing dividend opportunity in the West Midlands, according to analysis by research hub High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC) to coincide with the industrial research hub’s relocation to Birmingham.

HVM Catapult was created by Innovate UK, a government-funded innovation agency. It consists of seven centres across the UK that conduct research into manufacturing technologies, from automation to 3D printing.

The analysis, based on research by the West Midlands Combined Authority and Oxford Economics, underscores the high-growth potential in the region that is also home to an increasing number of technology startups.

HMVC  has moved into Innovation Birmingham, part of the Bruntwood SciTech network.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Thanks to the calibre of research output emanating from our local universities, our dynamic private sector and cross-party political will, we’re well placed to help shape the future of manufacturing not just here in the UK but right around the world.”

According to the analysis, the West Midland’s manufacturing sector is the second highest in the UK with 317,000 jobs. The top 50 manufacturing enterprises provide £3.5bn gross value added (GVA) each year, HVM Catapult says.

However, the GVA per job for manufacturing is 10% down from the UK average. HVM Catapult says that by supporting smaller companies and supply chains the region could unlock a further £1.5bn a year.

“I’m confident that HVM Catapult will serve as a brilliant sector catalyst – joining dots, showcasing talent and shining a spotlight on best practice,” added Street.

Katherine Bennett, chief executive, HVM Catapult, said: “This move marks the next stage of HVM Catapult’s growth, having helped nearly 22,000 companies commercialise their industry-defining ideas in our first decade.

“Our ambition for the next 10 years is to embed the UK’s reputation as the world’s go-to advanced manufacturing economy.”

It follows HVM Catapult’s announcement to move one of its other research centres to Bruntwood SciTech’s innovation district Circle Square in Manchester.

Startups in the West Midlands region include e-bike company We Are Universal, battery analytics platform Modo Energy and prosthetic technology Adapttech.

“As a long-time supporter of the HVM Catapult, we’re delighted to welcome the organisation to Innovation Birmingham here in the Knowledge Quarter,” said Jamie Clyde, director, Innovation Services, Bruntwood SciTech.