Innovation is key

According to a survey by Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, UK manufacturers believe that innovation is even more significant during an economic downturn than in positive trading conditions.


According to a survey by Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), UK manufacturers believe that innovation is even more significant during an economic downturn than in positive trading conditions.



The reputation of UK companies in the international market has become an increasingly key issue for the UK government, which outlined its new strategy for manufacturing earlier this year. The KTP survey highlighted innovation as one of the ways through which this could addressed.



Out of 200 UK manufacturers surveyed, 47 per cent said that their focus on innovation had increased due to the growth in global markets. Over two thirds are prioritising investment in staff training and around a third said that they were exploring innovation by implementing graduate and post-graduate work placements.



Dr Debbie Buckley-Golder, director for KTP said: ‘We were reassured to see that survey respondents recognise the value of knowledge sharing and innovation in helping to future-proof their business – as well as an investment in the developing the skills of their workforce.’



KTP is a government-funded scheme which aims to strengthen the competitiveness of UK industry by encouraging collaborative partnerships between research organisations and businesses.



Bombardier Rail Control Solutions has benefited the KTP scheme by partnering with PlymouthUniversity to develop a mathematically-led train detection system. The product has been patented and has already generated interest from companies in India, Korea and Estonia.


Andy Millar, Bombardier’s engineering design manager, said: ‘The interchange of knowledge and information between our Associate and our engineering team proved incredibly successful in bringing the product to its fruition and proved that design and innovation is best driven by collaboration. I believe that such an approach could play an important role in long-term manufacturing sector growth in the UK.’