Since 2019, the government-funded and industry-led initiative has supported 161 businesses with £3.9 million matched funding for 201 projects, leveraging £10.5 million of private sector investment. It has engaged with 1,266 businesses in the region to help them introduce digital tools and technologies to help boost productivity and growth and navigate the impact of COVID-19, Made Smarter said in a press release.
Some manufacturers are developing projects using emerging technologies which enable them to integrate systems, capture and analyse data, and even create simulations of their plants and processes. Others are using 3D-printing, automation and robotics to solve business challenges and meet increased demand.
About 618 manufacturers have received intensive support including expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps to transform their business, a leadership programme and funded digital technology internships.
The technology adoption is forecast to create 990 new jobs, upskill 1,845 existing roles, and deliver an additional £162.4 million in gross value added (GVA) for the North West economy.
Donna Edwards, programme director for the Made Smarter Adoption programme in the North West, said: “Surpassing the milestone of 200 funded technology projects is a significant achievement for the Made Smarter adoption programme in the North West - and there is much more to come.
“Over the last two and half years we have developed a programme of wide-ranging support which cuts through the jargon to provide honest, impartial advice to help businesses identify the most effective digital tools, innovation and skills needed to make an everyday difference to their operations.”
Over 80 per cent of SMEs working with Made Smarter to adopt cutting-edge technologies have seen a boost in productivity, and more than 25 per cent reduced their carbon emissions. Businesses will also benefit from increased revenue, profits and exports and lower energy bills, the release said.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (KD)