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Digital Manufacturing Getting £53m to Boost Technology Adoption

David Paul

,

Digital Manufacturing
A major £53 million investment will help “propel” breakthroughs in digital manufacturing and support adoption.

New UK Government funding is looking to boost digital manufacturing supply chain productivity and competitiveness through technology.

The £53 million investment will be split to drive the development of the latest tech, Investment Minister Lord Grimstone has announced.

Five new research centres, a new digital supply chain innovation hub, and 37 individual projects are set to benefit from the cash injection and to help digitalise manufacturing supply chains.

Around £25m is to be invested in the research centres set up around the UK, including at the University of Strathclyde, to accelerate the development of “cutting-edge” digital solutions.

The Government is also allocating £18m to the 37 projects through the Digital Supply Chain Competition to “support their development of innovations designed to help manufacturing supply chains become more productive and sustainable”.

The money has been awarded through the national UK government and industry Made Smarter programme, which will help to boost the use of these emerging technologies.

Based in universities throughout the UK, they will help to make supply chains faster, more efficient, and more resilient.

Strathclyde University will be focusing on digital supply chains, robotics adoption and “overcoming technological challenges” preventing the adoption of new materials and manufacturing processes.

In July last year, Strathclyde Uni was announced as part of six of the Scottish Government’s Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund projects through the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).

Commenting on the new funding, Lord Grimstone, said: “As we embark on a digital manufacturing revolution, we want to make sure our manufacturers are bolstered by the latest cutting-edge technology as we all work to build back better from the pandemic.

“Improving productivity and becoming more competitive is not just about sophisticated manufacturing, but also about smarter manufacturing, and we want to make it as easy as possible for companies large and small to make the changes needed to take full advantage of the innovative technology being developed.”

A further £10m will also be awarded to the new Made Smarter Innovation Digital Supply Chain Innovation Hub, a collaboration led by Digital Catapult, which will be developing breakthrough solutions that create supply chains that are “fully connected, resilient and sustainable”.


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Commenting on the extra investment, Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult, said: “The opportunity for innovation in manufacturing supply chains is incredibly broad.

“The Made Smarter Digital Supply Chain Innovation Hub will demonstrate how the tangible impact of emerging digital technologies can affect the nation’s supply chains, mitigating against the kinds of component shortages experienced during the pandemic, boosting efficiency, reducing waste, and supporting some of the UK’s most important industrial sectors through fostering a culture of innovation.

Silver added: “Digital Catapult brings to the Hub its significant experience in driving ambitious innovation programmes and creating opportunities for businesses right across manufacturing sectors, as well as extensive experience in building major testbed facilities that provide real hands-on technology experience for businesses.

“Through this groundbreaking, UK-wide collaboration with leading organisations in the industry, we hope to provide a lasting boost for the UK’s world-leading manufacturing industries as they accelerate back to growth.”

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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