Labman enter new markets with the support of a PAPI grant

Labman Automation manufactures custom robotic, instrument, and software solutions for industrial, laboratory, and medical applications. They work with customers worldwide from their manufacturing facility in North Yorkshire, and employ over 60 engineers. Labman’s main product is the development of small-scale automation prototypes for industry. Once the prototype is functional, it is then scaled up by an industrial partner.


Labman was growing rapidly and sought to increase the creation of their own intellectual property, rather than working directly for industry. This would provide additional avenues for income growth by allowing them to enter new markets.

One of these projects was to create an intelligent high viscosity film deposition system that would be capable of applying formulations, for example the application of a face cream onto analogue skin substrates. Labman had been approached to assess feasibility in applying formulations onto substrates on a small, laboratory scale. At the time, there was no flexible automated platform which allowed this type of testing. Labman therefore sought to build the technology needed to undertake the project.

Labman were awarded an £18,688 PAPI grant to procure hardware, including a robotic arm and control electronics, which was needed to build and test their technology.

New Markets

PAPI support allowed them to enter the market for viscous thin film deposition, in sectors including fast-moving consumer goods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. The project generated three new, highly-skilled jobs within the business.

The hardware also allowed them to test the viability of further projects, whilst retaining their intellectual property, providing them with new revenue streams which in turn will create further new jobs.

Andy Brown, Senior Project Leader said; “The grant allowed us to move forward to develop areas which we would not have been able to do otherwise.”

How PAPI can support you

The Product and Process Innovation (PAPI) project has helped small businesses in York, North Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region develop innovative new products by providing grants for equipment since 2016. Delivered by the University of York, a team of Innovation Advisers can help companies apply for a grant of between £8,000 and £20,000 for the purchase of equipment which will create new products, services and jobs.

PAPI also offers innovation workshops; two days worth of business support, in two parts, from top business coaches. By the end of the workshop, you will have a detailed innovation plan for your business, designed to help you to grow. The PAPI project comes to an end in December 2022, so this is your last chance to apply!

The PAPI Project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by the University of York, in partnership with The Northern Powerhouse. The project is open for applications now. Businesses can quickly check their eligibility and apply on the website at papi.org.uk or by calling 01904 328076.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by PAPI Project .

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