An additional 1,000 manufacturers across the country will be able to benefit from cutting-edge digital technology through the Made Smarter adoption programme, thanks to a boost in funding.
The Made Smarter North West pilot adoption programme has already worked with more than 1,000 firms within the region since 2019 to enable the adoption of industrial digital technology, such as robotics and automation, additive manufacturing or the Internet of Things.
By providing free impartial advice, digital internships, funding for digital transformation projects and access to specialised training, the programme has helped manufacturers to increase their productivity, create high-skilled jobs and reduce their emissions.
Local beneficiaries include the Bury Black Pudding Company, which is creating the world’s first ‘smart black pudding factory’ using automation and digital tools to increase product quality and reduce waste.
Meanwhile, Altrincham-based Mackinnon and Saunders, the stop-motion animators who worked on Postman Pat and collaborated with Hollywood director Tim Burton, have received support to adopt digital technology such as 3D printing to keep up with bigger, global rivals.
Given the programme’s success, the government has now announced an additional £8 million of funding to support another 1,000 businesses, this time covering a wider area including the North West, North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands.
Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone, said:
“The proof is in the pudding and for the companies that have adopted the latest digital technology they are already reaping the rewards. To help level up the country, we want to ensure businesses have the right tools for the job so that they can build back better and greener from the pandemic.”
SME manufacturers in the North West can continue to access Made Smarter support as before, with the new support for companies in other regions to be rolled out over the coming months.