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It can be easy to overlook the importance of UK manufacturing. As COVID and Brexit have demonstrated, UK manufacturing is fundamental to the reliable supply of products that are critical to life. It is also a fundamental part of a resilient economy. To grow manufacturing in the UK firms, need to be productive and competitive. The innovation and diffusion of Industrial Digital technologies (IDTs) is critical to achieving this goal.

Some of the biggest challenges to developing new IDTs and seeing them used at scale are not technical but human.  UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has invested £4m through the ESRC as part of the Made Smarter Challenge to help industry understand and overcome these challenges.  

The aim…

The aim is to develop and support the creation of an effective digital innovation ecosystem to accelerate the innovation and diffusion of IDTs.  This will be achieved by ensuring that the full range and depth of social and economic science insights are accessed by UK manufacturers.

Phase 1: Design

There is opportunity for the economic and social science community to support the Made Smarter Challenge in many different ways. In this first phase we want to work with the community through a series of workshops to co-create the most effective way to do this.

Phase 2: Delivery

The Made Smarter Network+ will be formally launched in October 2021 and will operate until December 2024

How to get involved…

We want to create an inclusive community, that embraces diversity, and finds innovative ways to inspire cross-disciplinary investigation of the way in which the economic and social sciences can enable more successful innovation and diffusion of IDTs.

CNC Robotics