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Made Smarter reaches milestone for supporting tech investments

Technology adoption programme Made Smarter has marked its fourth anniversary by supporting its 250th SME manufacturer to invest in productivity-boosting digital technology.

Made Smarter, which launched in 2019 to help North West SME manufacturers to drive growth through digital technology, has funded a total of 275 projects ranging from systems integrations to 3D printing, automation and robotics.

The programme has now provided over £5 million in match-funding to 250 manufacturers, and supported more than 2,500 SMEs in total with advice and guidance – many of whom are taking their first steps towards digitalisation.

One of the latest businesses to invest in technology with Made Smarter’s support is Ratio Technology, a bicycle component manufacturer based in Kendal which has installed 3-axis CNC machining technology. The investment will help to bring production in-house, increase opportunities for customisation and innovation, and reduce costly delays and mistakes due to subcontract manufacturing.

Director Tom Simpson said:

“This investment is game-changing for our business. Made Smarter has accelerated our adoption of this vital technology by a year or more and broadened the scope of the investment. We are now looking to expand the team by creating new roles and upskilling four existing team members.”

Among the other beneficiaries are kitchen door manufacturer Multiwood Products in Bury and robotics integrator CNC Robotics in Bootle, which have also worked in tandem with the Growth Hub’s expert Manufacturing Team to progress their growth journeys.

Donna Edwards, Director of the North West adoption programme at Made Smarter, commented:

“It’s been great to see that so many firms have tapped into our expertise to help them select the right approach for their business, how much to invest and which technologies will bring the greatest benefits.

“I would encourage any North West manufacturers who are wondering where to go next with technology to help manage their business more efficiently and sustainably to get in touch with the Made Smarter team.”


For Greater Manchester manufacturers unsure of how to prepare for the exciting opportunities presented by digitalisation, our Manufacturing Service is an ideal stepping-stone. Speak to one of our specialist advisors today to learn more.

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