A £4.9 million scheme to help local manufacturers digitalise their operations has officially launched in Yorkshire and Humber. The Made Smarter programme is designed to encourage digital adoption among small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
A pilot programme was run back in 2021, with participation from over 200 businesses from across the region. The pilot involved the successful completion of over 400 projects, from releasing capital expenditure grants through to intensive technical support. Other activities included carrying out tailored digital diagnostics, to identify the areas in which technology could help to meet the key goals of the business.
The second round of the ground breaking digital upskilling scheme has now begun, with Oxford Innovation Advice at the helm.
To date, the leading provider of business support programmes has assisted over 30,000 organisations. Around 4,300 of these are manufacturing businesses, who’ve been supported to make digital improvements and prepare for Industry 4.0. This is what experts are predicting will be the next age of manufacturing, involving sophisticated technology from AI and robotics to automation, data and connectivity.
Oxford Innovation Advice will be working alongside other organisations to deliver the scheme, which is available right away for interested local businesses. Key partners include the Institute of Manufacturing, Brook Consulting and Edge Digital.
In Yorkshire, the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) is funding the scheme, which will initially provide advice and one-to-one support. Andrew Armstrong, the Made Smarter development manager for SYMCA, told Insider Media Limited:
“The Made Smarter programme will help regional manufacturers to embrace digital adoption, with a view to increasing productivity as part of gaining a competitive advantage. The programme is designed to support SMEs to use digital processes across all their methods of manufacture, providing more efficiency and better information to enable them to improve continually and fine-tune their processes.
“There are digital experts in all of the Yorkshire and Humber Growth Hubs who will assess each business’ requirements and make sure they are provided with the kind of specialist support they need.”
The Made Smarter scheme is a nationwide initiative, one which aims to equip manufacturing leaders with “the digital tools, innovation & skills to make an everyday business difference.” It focuses on finding smarter solutions for key business goals, whether it’s improving capacity, reducing lead times, increasing profits or maximising efficiency.
Interested manufacturing businesses within the Yorkshire and Humber region can find out more on the Made Smarter website, and take the next steps to accessing support for digital transformation projects.
Looking for your next opportunity in manufacturing, or need to hire a skilled expert to help your business with digital transformation? Whether you’re job hunting or hiring, Aqumen Recruitment is the perfect partner to help you achieve your goals.
Get in touch to start your search – call 01977 515626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get right back to you. You can also take a look at our latest Yorkshire and Humber manufacturing jobs here.