Our world faces a number of defining challenges to its prosperity, security and wellbeing with the escalating pressures of climate change, population growth and limited natural resources. Meeting these challenges requires innovation in key industrial areas such as sustainable manufacturing, efficient and integrated transport, and materials and resource efficiency. This is exemplified by Industry 4.0, a significant transformation regarding the way we produce products thanks to the digitisation of manufacturing.
In the UK, areas such as composite materials, low carbon technologies, digital process engineering, additive manufacturing, and robotics and autonomous systems all offer high growth opportunities. Our manufacturing industry is thriving with investment in automation and technological advances potentially adding £275bn to the national economy each year.
The UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) continues to back new companies tackling the big opportunities in engineering and manufacturing. One such recipient is Mirico, which has developed innovative analytical instruments for precision gas analysis, focused on measuring and helping to reduce adverse emissions in oil and gas, landfills and agriculture. The fund has also backed Claresys, whose precision optical engineering has applications in surveillance and oil and gas exploration, and KEIT, developing a new generation of spectrometers.