Skip to content

£20m fund launched to “kick-start new industrial revolution” in North West

A government-backed programme to help 3,000 North West manufacturers embrace industrial digital technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence has been officially launched.

A government-backed programme to help 3,000 North West manufacturers embrace industrial digital technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence has been officially launched.

The £20 million Made Smarter initiative is open to SME manufacturers across Cheshire & Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Liverpool City Region.

Launched on 14 November at Digital Manufacturing Week 2018 in Liverpool, the aim of the pilot programme is to explore how cutting-edge digital technologies could revolutionise the manufacturing sector and boost productivity.

Eligible manufacturers will get access to match-funded support and advice on how to get started with a range of technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and the Internet of Things. A smaller cohort of 600 companies will get more intensive support, including consultancy and mentoring.

By acting as a test-bed for these technologies, it is estimated that the North West’s manufacturing sector could generate a 25 per cent boost in productivity and add £115 million to the regional economy.

The programme is backed by several major manufacturers with a presence in the North West, such as Siemens, Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Airbus and Jaguar Land Rover.

Juergen Maier, Chief Executive of Siemens and Chair of the Made Smarter Commission behind the initiative, said:

“Made Smarter has the potential to kick-start a new industrial revolution for our manufacturing sector and be a catalyst for new investment in the latest digital technologies. It’s a hugely exciting time for the North West.”

Also present at the launch was Rochdale vinyl door manufacturer Crystal Doors, which already uses robotics, 3D modelling and hi-tech dust extraction technology. Managing Director of the company, Richard Hagan, said:

“When I tell people we make doors many of them picture a sawdust-filled workshop, tins of wood stain and boxes of door handles. However, when they visit our facility and see the level of automation we utilise, and the precision technology which we apply to production, they are genuinely stunned.

“I would encourage any manufacturer in the region, from any sub-sector, to explore how an initiative like Made Smarter North West could change the way they work through the adoption of highly advanced manufacturing techniques.”

Made Smarter is being delivered by the regional Growth Hubs across the North West and co-ordinated by The Growth Company in Manchester. For more information visit www.madesmarter.uk.

For the latest manufacturing news straight to your inbox, join the Manufacturing Network today.

Join

Share this post