A pilot scheme to support innovation and adoption of new technology in the manufacturing sector has secured additional funding from government after its successes in the North-west.
The Made Smarter scheme was launched in the North-west was launched two years ago to support manufacturing businesses in the region to improve productivity through the adoption of new digital technologies and ensure SMEs in the sector do not miss out on the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The success of the scheme, which has worked with 1,165 businesses in the region, has led to government funding an additional £8 million into the programme that will see it rolled out in North-east, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the West Midlands regions, as well as allowing more businesses in the North-west to receive support.
Donna Edwards, Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Director, said:
I am delighted that the Government has continued to support the North West Adoption programme.
“Over the last two years we have worked tirelessly to drive digital technology usage among SME makers across the North West with significant success.
“The programme has proven the value technology can bring to the manufacturing sector. We have helped hundreds of North West makers start their digital journey by providing them with specialist advice to help them select the right approach, level of investment and tools for their business
“With the additional funding, we are able to continue reaching out to the region’s SME manufacturers to connect them to the tools that will make an everyday difference to their businesses.”
The support offered includes advice from industry leaders, one-to-one support, digital roadmapping and transformation workshops and leadership and management training. Participating SMEs will get support in implementing new digital technologies such as data analytics and artificial intelligence to boost productivity and revenue of the sector.
The manufacturing innovation scheme is also hosting a digital conference to showcase how SMEs in the North-west have benefited from the Made Smarter programme. The one-day programme will be hosted virtually with events ranging from panel discussions and roundtables to interactive workshops and demonstrations of new technology. SMEs involved in showcasing their digital transformations, include Stockport-based Creative Apparel, a clothing manufacturer which is developing a state-of-the-art smart factory in the town to deliver more sustainable production.
To register for the conference, visit the Made Smarter website.
Made Smarter is a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) and industry leaders.