Jan 8, 2021

Airbus UK SVP appointed head of government HVM Catapult

HVM Catapult
Georgia Wilson
2 min
UK governement building
Airbus UK SVP - Katherine Bennett CBE - has been appointed head of the UK government’s High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult...

In an announcement made by High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, Katherine Bennett CBE - Senior Vice President (SVP) of Airbus UK - will be stepping down from her current role, to become Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the UK government’s HVM Catapult. Bennett will succeed Dick Elsy CBE FREng when he retires later in 2021. “The announcement follows a formal recruitment process led by the Chair of the HVM Catapult, Allan Cook CBE,” stated HVM Catapult. 

About Katherine Bennett CBE

Currently the SVP of Airbus, Katherine Bennett CBE has been at the company for 16 years leading the company’s external engagement and strategy in the UK.

Prior to Airbus, Bennett worked with Vauxhall Motors heading up their government affairs function, as well as working with Hill and Knowlton Public Relations, appointed Chair of the Western Gateway, and managed the public affairs for VentilatorChallengeUK which was led by the HVM Catapult.

In 2019, Bennett was awarded the Order of Commander of the British Empire for services to the aerospace and aviation sector.  

Bennett is also Vice President of Aerospace on the Council of ADS, on the Board of the Aerospace Growth Partnership and on the Board of the Wales Government Science and Innovation Council. 

In 2018, Bennett founded the UK’s Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter which focuses on building a fair and balanced industry for women in this sector. 

“I am honoured to have been asked to lead the next phase of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s development, building on the strong foundations which have been created over the past eight years. The HVM Catapult has the wide-ranging relationships and understanding needed to be part of the Industrial Strategy refresh process and to contribute to building the UK’s status as a scientific superpower,” commented Bennett.

“The Catapult’s country-wide network of centres provides the ideal platform from which to diffuse the latest capabilities to the thousands of manufacturing businesses that are the bedrock of our economy, boosting their performance, preparing them to be part of the Prime Minister’s Green Industrial Revolution and growing their contribution to our national prosperity,” she concluded.

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Jun 16, 2021

Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line

2 min
Fluent.ai and BSH announce plans to bring speech-to-intent AI to the assembly line that will increase factory efficiency and improve worker ergonomics

Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines. 


According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.


What Sets Fluent.ai Apart? 

After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.  


  • Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions. 
  • Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately. 
  • Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations. 


How Voice Automation Works

Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production. 


‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’. 


Future Global Adoption 

In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier. 


Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’. 



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