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Made Smarter West of England is supporting at least 80 manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve their productivity by adopting industrial digital technologies.

A package of support measures is offered to eligible SMEs, including a roadmap to digitally transform business, digital leadership training programmes to upskill the existing workforce, student internships to support young people into work, and match-funded grants to purchase industry 4.0 hardware or software.  

The programme was launched in July 2022 and will run until March 2025.

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Made Smarter adoption in the West of England
  • Who is delivering the Made Smarter adoption programme in West of England?

    Made Smarter West of England is funded by the West of England Combined Authority. Project delivery is led by the Combined Authority, in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the National Composites Centre (NCC).

  • Localised advice and support

    Businesses joining Made Smarter West of England will benefit from fully funded advice delivered by specialist technology experts. The programme enables SMEs to identify the right digital tools and support staff to implement the new technology.

    To be eligible for support, SMEs must be registered or trading in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol or South Gloucestershire.

  • Localised 1:1 digital acceleration sessions

    We aim to connect at least 80 SMEs to the digital tools they can utilise to transform the way they work. The programme will enable eligible businesses to grow through emerging digital technology and help them to cut costs, deliver products to market faster, reduce downtime and/or improve efficiency.

    A detailed diagnostic and assessment process, led by the National Composites Centre, will help firms to develop a strategic action plan towards the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. This will also enable SMEs to gain a better understanding of their business. 

  • Localised leadership development

    The West of England digital leadership programme is delivered by the Bristol Business School at the University of the West of England.

     The programme will consist of four days of taught learning modules plus online self-study, spread across 4-months, with networking, events and live industry projects. This will help enhance leadership capabilities while implementing new digital tools for businesses. It will also enable participants to:

    • Take a strategic view on adopting new digital technology into your operations
    • Learn the skills to drive change and embed within the organisation
    • Improve the productivity of the workforce through technology, processes and management techniques

    The training will also include a 2-month programme supervised by technology experts from the University of the West of England.

  • Localised funding support

    Eligible businesses are able to apply for a 50% match funded grant (maximum of £20,000) for the purchase of industrial digital technology equipment and/or specialist advice to implement projects.

    Businesses will be guided on creating an effective digital roadmap to ensure the technology is taking them in the right direction.

  • Localised internship support

    Fully funded internships, delivered by the University of the West of England, are available to support manufacturing businesses to implement industry 4.0 technology. SMEs could secure a 12-week internship working alongside students from a range of subject areas including: Digital, Engineering, Business Management and Data & Computer Science. 

    The fully funded internships will include half-a-day per week support from an expert academic. Students will receive national living wage whilst working with you.