What is the Made Smarter North West pilot?

The North West has been chosen as the first to benefit from Made Smarter, given the region’s strong reputation in both manufacturing and innovation.
— Donna Edwards, Programme director, Made Smarter Pilot

It can be daunting to consider overhauling your business’ technology and processes, but to grow, stay ahead of your competitors, and meet the increasing demands of modern customers, it’s essential to be as efficient as possible.

We can help you understand which new industrial technology application is right for your operations and help you to develop a strategy for implementation that fits in with your core business needs.

The newly-launched Made Smarter programme is designed to support manufacturers, engineers, makers and creators with facilities or operations in Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region to grow through adoption of new technologies.

Whether your business has started the journey to digital transformation, or it simply wants the impartial advice on how digital technology could help then it’s time to register with Made Smarter.

What can the Made Smarter pilot offer North West business?

  • Fully-funded specialist advice to assess your current operations and develop your digitalisation strategy

  • Up to 50% grant funding to implement new technology, software and hardware into your manufacturing

  • Access to a UK-wide Industry 4.0 technology supplier directory

  • Access to a subsidised Leadership Development programme, designed specifically to support the programme

  • Access to student placements to help you understand how to implement the technology.

What can Made Smarter project funding support?

The programme supports industry 4.0 technologies and tools that are digitally connected with one another to create and share information. The procurement of like for like hardware replacement, laser cutters, consultancy, repair and maintenance fees are exempt.    

There is no ceiling on the size of eligible projects however, larger projects may be subject to a decrease in grant percentage terms.        

Who can the Made Smarter pilot support?

The Made Smarter pilot programme can support North West Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) who make, manufacture or engineer across Cheshire & Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Liverpool City Region.

To be classified as an SME, eligible businesses must have less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £44m or a balance sheet total of less than £38.5m.

What does Made Smarter offer?


Fully-funded specialist advice

Our team will assess your existing processes and identify where operational gains could be achieved


Grants for Industry 4.0 projects

Our tailored support includes up to 50% matched grant funding for project implementation

Identify Leadership & Skills

Our leadership development programme and access to technical student placements can drive your growth


Join the Industry 4.0 movement

Register to find out how Made Smarter can support your business


The Made Smarter support programme has come along at a crucial moment for the Nursery Kitchen and will help secure its future.
— Katy Elliot, Nursery Kitchen
Investing in technology has kept Crystal Doors in step with much larger competitors and helps to ensure customers receive ever improved quality and value.
— Richard Hagan, Crystal Doors