Tibard, the workwear and uniform manufacturer, is the latest business to secure Made Smarter support for new technology. The Dukinfield-based chefswear and hospitality uniform provider, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, has secured funding and support through the government funded and industry backed programme to drive productivity and growth in UK manufacturing.
The Made Smarter North West pilot is working with SMEs to help them introduce digital tools and technologies to help boost productivity and growth.
This support for local manufacturing SMEs includes expert impartial advice and one-to-one support, digital roadmapping workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps to transform their business, eight-month leadership and management training programmes offered in partnership with Lancaster University, as well as funded three-month student placements.
62 of the businesses supported with specialist technology advice, including 13 in Greater Manchester, have also secured matched funding, and with this support forecast to deliver an additional £52M in gross value added (GVA) for the North West economy over the next three years.
SME applicants are developing projects involving the adoption of a range of industrial digital technologies, including Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), 3D-printing and robotics to solve business challenges across a range of manufacturing functions.
“We have found a great enthusiasm about the benefits of adopting new digital technology tempered by uncertainty of how to go about it,” said Donna Edwards, programme director for the Made Smarter North West pilot (pictured).
“It’s clear that the SMEs need the specialist advice and insight to help them select the right approach for their business, how much to invest and which technologies will bring the greatest benefits. This is exactly how Made Smarter can and is helping businesses across the region.”
The £20million pilot programme was launched in November 2018, becoming operational in January 2019, and runs until March 2021.
The North West pilot is being overseen by the Made Smarter Commission – a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and industry leaders.
Juergen Maier, former CEO of Siemens and co-chair of the commission, said: “When we launched Made Smarter in November 2018 our ambition was to kick start a new industrial revolution for the manufacturing sector and turn the UK into a world leader in digital technologies. Our task now is to scale this up and see what other regions can learn from the great work that’s already being done here.”