Manufacturing firms in the North West have signed up UK-government backed Industry 4.0 Accelerator initiative which aims to use tech to boost growth and success.
The ‘Made Smarter’ programme – which provides match funding – is expected to bring extensive benefits including improved productivity and revenues, increased export sales, job creation, providing new skills to workforces, integration with supply chains and reduced environmental impact.
Eleven businesses, based in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Lancashire, Cumbria and Liverpool which operate in the food and beverage, engineering, healthcare and agriculture sectors, are set to introduce advanced manufacturing methods.
They will benefit from the £20m Made Smarter Programme, which will help them to grow by adopting new digital technologies.
Minister for Business and Industry Nadhim Zahawi said: “The Made Smarter Programme is enabling manufacturers across the North West to access advanced digital technologies with the aim of driving growth and increasing productivity while reducing costs – all part of our ambition to make the UK a global leader in shaping how the modern world does business.
“The 11 new companies announced today will not only reap the benefits themselves, the investment will support a multi-million-pound boost to the local economy, keeping the region at the forefront of the latest innovations. They join 24 businesses who have received project funding to date, and I would urge others to follow in their footsteps.”
One business set to reap benefits from new tech is Bell Mount Farming, based in Penrith, Cumbria.
The firm, which produces eggs for the Lakes Free Range Eggs brand, wants to adopt big data and analytics technology to boost egg production by ensuring the conditions are optimal for free range hens.
Donna Edwards, Director of the Made Smarter North West pilot, said: “I am thrilled to welcome another tranche of SMEs to the Made Smarter pilot.
“Working with business we have found that they are enthusiastic about the benefits of adopting new digital technology. Often, they need funding support, but also the specialist advice and insight to help them select the right approach for their business.
“It’s been interesting to see the range of businesses and sub-sectors the successful applicants have come from and the technologies they have selected.”