SME manufacturers in Cheshire and Warrington can now access free hands-on support and local R&D expertise to help them make the most of industrial digital technologies.
The £5.6 million initiative, CW4.0, is open to manufacturers at any stage of digital transformation, from those needing to understand how emerging technology can benefit their operations, to businesses further along the curve who are ready to trial and implement technologies such as sensors, advanced scanning, robotics, AI and data analytics.
CW4.0 is a regional successor to LCR4.0, which ran for three years in the neighbouring Liverpool City Region and supported more than 300 SMEs to harness digital manufacturing technologies.
The new initiative is being led by the University of Liverpool and aims to have a similar impact in Cheshire and Warrington.
Andrew Borland, CW4.0 Lead and Head of Commercial for the University of Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), said:
“Many companies have been forced to adopt digital technologies at a breakneck pace during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the UK emerges from it, there is a massive opportunity to carry this momentum not just for companies that have started their digital journeys but also for those that have not.
“CW4.0 will ensure no SME is left behind in a world where the resilience, productivity and assurances afforded by digitised operations, become non-negotiable expectations of their customers. Based on the overwhelming success of our work in the Liverpool City Region, we know that even manufacturers with little prior understanding of industry 4.0 technologies can benefit greatly from the support and facilities on offer in this scheme.”
The programme has set targets to support 170 SMEs, create 150 new R&D collaborations and bring at least 40 new products to market over the next two years.
Expressions of interest from SME manufacturers are now being invited, with the first cohort of businesses expected to be enrolled on the initiative within weeks.
For more information visit www.candw4.uk.