Category Archives: Make it in Great Britain

Jet Engine

There is an invention in all of us

We were joined recently in the Science Museum by renowned British inventor Trevor Bayliss OBE, who was keen to visit the Make it in Great Britain exhibition.

Inventing is Trevor’s life long passion, and after seeing a programme in 1991 about the spread of AIDS in Africa, he set about inventing a wind up radio. Three years later, his first working prototype ran for 14 minutes and it was featured on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World programme. By 1996, the radio had been awarded the BBC Design Award for Best Product and Best Design, and in the same year, Trevor met both Her Majesty The Queen and Nelson Mandela.

Yet despite Trevor’s achievements, his view that “there is an invention in all of us” has not changed, and he dismisses the suggestion that to be an inventor you have to wear a white coat.

Jet Engine

As Trevor strolled around the exhibition he looked up at the Rolls Royce jet engine (pictured above), describing the legendary inventor Frank Whittle, as just “a young lad with a good idea”. Trevor explained that ideas do not have to be as complex as the jet engine or as ingenious as BEA’s unmanned aircraft, the demon, and that often it’s just down to luck, “you do not have to be a genius, often inventions are just pure chance.”

Before he left, Trevor told us that “art is pleasure, invention is treasure”, and we hope the exhibition has gone some way to showcase this belief by championing one the UK’s greatest assets, its manufacturing industry.

The Make it in Great Britain exhibition can be found on the first floor of the museum. The exhibition closes on Sunday 9th September.

Purpose-built fuel cell motorbike

Make it in Great Britain: an update from our exhibitors

Have you taken the chance to visit Make it in Great Britain yet? The exhibition celebrates the importance and success of British manufacturing and features some of the most exciting British innovations happening today. Halfway through, some of our exhibitors review their experiences:

Geoff Bryant, Head of R&D, Mars Chocolate UK
‘The exhibition has given us the chance to showcase our ‘bean to bar’ story which captures every stage of the chocolate making process. It shows the journey from the Ivory Coast cocoa farms through to the state of the art production line at our Slough factory which produces 2.5 million Mars bars every day.

It would be easy to miss the scientific expertise that goes into food manufacturing whilst we tuck into our favourite chocolate treats. But you would be hard pressed to find a more diverse group of scientists and innovators.

There is a common misconception that the jobs available in science aren’t applied or interesting – this couldn’t be further from the truth, particularly within the food and drink industry; a sector continuously looking for solutions to challenges with raw ingredients and improving the nutritional credentials of its products. In 2010 we reduced the saturated fat content in Mars bars by 15% while maintaining the same great taste. We couldn’t have done this without the dedication and expertise of our R&D team, whose scientific and technical skills are so important to continually pushing product innovation and formulation development.’

The Mars Factory

Intelligent Energy
‘It was a great to be chosen as one of the companies in the exhibition, representing the best of British manufacturing, one of the most dynamic and important sectors in the UK economy.

Why were we chosen? Well, we design and develop fuel cell technologies at our Loughborough Headquarters, and then work with our partners and customers across the globe to manufacture and integrate that technology into their products. Our fuel cell systems power everything from consumer electronics, homes and other buildings, to a wide range of vehicles including the ENV motorbike and our fuel cell electric London taxis.

Our award winning ENV, which is on display in the exhibition, is the world’s first purpose built fuel cell motorbike. We chose to exhibit the ENV, partly because it is a world first, but mainly because we think it is very possibly the best looking example of fuel cell technology ever made!’

Purpose-built fuel cell motorbike

The Green Roof Tile Company
As you stroll around Make it in Great Britain you are instantly struck by the iconic brands: Jaguar Land Rover, BAE Systems, McLaren, Rolls-Royce, but in amongst these giants of industry there are examples of the small, innovative companies that provide employment for the bulk of the 2.5 million people involved in the UK manufacturing sector.

We are one such business – The Green Roof Tile Company. Established in 2007, we have designed, developed, worried about, manufactured and commercialised Envirotile – a roofing system manufactured from plastic containing over 70% recycled material.

In developing the groundbreaking design for Envirotile, we enlisted the help of the Caparo Innovation Centre at the University of Wolverhampton. Key features of the product include: rain water channels to facilitate run-off; drip water channels prevent rain water ingress under the tile and strengthening ribs and controlled variations in material thickness provide rigidity to the tiles.

Furthermore, the market potential for Envirotile is considerable. The export market for traditional roof tiles is virtually non-existent because weight and fragility makes it difficult to export, whereas a single Envirotile is 80% lighter than a traditional concrete rooftile and is virtually unbreakable.’

Make it in Great Britain Exhibition

Make it in Great Britain ends on 9 September and is free to enter. It was developed in collaboration with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

Follow the exhibition on Twitter and on the Science Museum Facebook page

Vince Cable, Business Secretary at Make it in Great Britain exhibition

Make it in Great Britain

By Mark Champkins, Science Museum Inventor in Residence

Britain has always been a nation at the forefront of global manufacturing. From the Industrial Revolution onwards we have been pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and seeking to be ever more innovative. The Make it in Great Britain Exhibition, here at the Science Museum, is a fantastic showcase of cutting edge UK manufacturing and the most ingenious of ideas.

Vince Cable, Business Secretary at Make it in Great Britain exhibition

I had the pleasure of being one of the judges for the “Challenge” competition and was thoroughly inspired by the lateral thinking, ingenuity and technical excellence of the entries.

The response to all the competition entries has been amazing. There are five categories and they will showcase their creations on a weekly basis. Some of the successful entries include a new technology which could offer relief to tinnitus sufferers, an eco-friendly alternative to everyday cement and a pushchair that can be folded down into a 32 litre rucksack. The exhibition, which runs until 7th September. will include the competition finalists alongside formula one cars, powerboats, jet aircraft, and a host of other fantastic exhibits.

Britain has a proud manufacturing heritage, and is responsible for developing world-beating new technology and production techniques. Manufacturing in the UK is endlessly creative, brilliantly practically, constantly evolving and generates £137 Billion for the UK economy which is significantly more than the Financial sector. We too often downplay and undervalue manufacturing’s importance but The Make it in Great Britain exhibition is an inspiring and timely reminder of just how good we are here in the UK.

Visit Make it in Great Britain at the Science Museum from today

Follow Make it in Great Britain and the Science Museum on Twitter to learn more about British manufacturing