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Design and Production Sector Logo

Design and Production

We celebrate innovation in designing, developing and making the things people need. We focus on opportunities for engineering and technology. Bringing together experts from industry, academia and government, we deliver programmes of activity, inspired by issues of the day and innovation around manufacturing and design, from robotics to sustainability and beyond.


Image of Jeremy Hadall

Meet the new Design and Production Sector Chairman

Find out more about Jeremy Hadall CEng FIET, the new Design and Production Sector Chairman. He also chairs the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s Automation Capability Forum and is a member of the British Automation and Robotics Association Council and the KTN’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Special Interest Group Advisory Board.

Horizontal Innovation (image)

Horizontal Innovation

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) have joined forces to address the current lack of widespread exploitation of horizontal innovation in the technology community.

The long-term partnership aims to raise awareness and drive wider take-up of “Horizontal Innovation” across the UK innovation landscape.

Find out more about Horizontal Innovation.

Key topics

Image of man next to manufacturing machine


With the changing landscape in manufacturing and a focus on the journey towards Industry 4.0, this hub showcases key topics such as Virtual Reality and Advanced Manufacturing through to the Implementation of Automation. Exploring the key technologies to hit Manufacturing in the next ten years, there will be a drive towards innovation and the resurgence of Industry within the UK.

Image of cogs


From Industrial Design focusing on the user experience in the engineering of products, to the growing importance of Inclusive Design with consideration for the diversity of the population, this hub looks at the important role of design within technology and innovation. There will be a focus on how existing design and technologies can be adapted for the needs of a changing population within Design and Society.

Image of robotic hand

Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Looking to improve and accelerate cross sectoral growth, Robotics and Autonomous Systems explores the latest innovation and showcases the newest technological developments. Highlighting the revolutionary role of engineering in the transition to fully autonomous systems, key topics include Mechatronics, Robotics start-ups and Artificial Intelligence, through to Unmanned Vehicles and Aircraft Systems.

Image of note book with innovation plans

Innovation to commercialisation

Showcasing the latest news and innovation from the nine Catapults and Innovate UK, this hub offers a knowledge platform facilitating access to professional expertise for SME’s, science, engineering and technology communities. Exploring the current design and manufacturing landscape, this hub will also include content from EPSRC and information on funding and competitions; alongside topics such as Intellectual Property and Horizontal Innovation.



Tim Peake drives rover through fake Martian cave from space station

Astronaut Tim Peake has explored a fake Martian cave built on the premises of Airbus Defence and Space controlling a prototype Martian rover from the International Space Station.

Graphene nanoflakes coolly dissipate electronics heat

Researchers have developed a new approach to cooling electronics using graphene nanoflakes, promising to overcome one of the major obstacles in further technology development.

Egg-based memristor paves way for dissolvable body sensors

An electronic device made of egg protein albumin has been created by Chinese researchers, paving the way for dissolvable sensors that could be used inside the human body.