Sixth Sense Summit: Exploring the manufacturing innovations of the future

From mass production to 3D printing, bottlenecks to blockchain, and automation to autonomy – making is not what it used to be. The fourth industrial revolution – or Industry 4.0 – is well underway, and with seismic technological, economic and societal shifts ongoing, the manufacturing industry is at the forefront.

And it was the future of manufacturing that was on display at the Sixth Sense Summit, held in London on February 7th – through a pitching competition to determine the winner of this year’s Sixth Sense programme, a technology exhibition, and a series of discussions with industry leaders.

Over the past three months, eight startups in our third cohort have been working alongside leaders in Hexagon’s manufacturing intelligence division to evolve their ground-breaking solutions to help solve some of the sector’s biggest challenges – specifically, how we drive a more sustainable future. The prize for the winner? An exciting opportunity to partner with Hexagon on developing a joint solution, leveraging both organisations’ technology.


Announcing our winners

After a high-quality set of pitches in front of a live audience of 150 entrepreneurs, experts and industry leaders, Acerta was announced as our runner-up, with Zaptic and Flexxbotics chosen as the joint winners.

With Flexxbotics’ technology enabling robot-driven manufacturing for tomorrow’s autonomous industry, Zaptic’s connected worker platform empowering frontline worker productivity, and Acerta’s predictive quality solution providing line engineers with invaluable real-time analytics and insights – their solutions are pivotal to building a smart, sustainable and collaborative manufacturing future.

Our thanks and congratulations also go to all of the other fantastic cohort three members: ToffeeX, RVmagnetics, Rafinex, Dessia, and Launchpad – these companies exemplify the power of technology as a force for good and we very much look forward to continuing working together.


Addressing industry challenges and finding opportunities

In addition to the pitching finale, the summit also explored some of the manufacturing industry’s key opportunities and challenges, through a series of roundtables that explored female representation in the sector, the fundraising landscape for startups, and how we scale spin-outs to maximise innovation; as well as a main stage panel discussion on the innovations driving manufacturing to net zero.

Building on Sixth Sense’s legacy of connecting the next generation of innovators with Hexagon’s industry-leading technology – such as the recent partnership between cohort two member Augmentir and ETQ – this summit saw another powerful partnership announced, this time between Hexagon and GelSight, the winner of the second cohort.


What comes next

Sixth Sense is about seeing round corners – identifying solutions where others may not, to solve humanity’s biggest challenges. After yet another successful Sixth Sense programme, we want to thank our incredible third cohort for their dedication and ongoing commitment to pushing boundaries in manufacturing.

The third Sixth Sense challenge may now be over, but true to our mission, we already have our sights set on the horizon with our next programme. If you’re interested in tackling tomorrow’s challenges with innovation or applying to our next cohort – stay tuned to our blog, X and LinkedIn to be the first to hear about our next challenge.