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We know the adoption of technology holds huge potential for manufacturers, but understand it can feel like a lengthy and costly process.

Are you a medium or large manufacturer or someone working across the supply chain with known challenges? Could you advance and accelerate your business through technology adoption, but don’t know how?

The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator has been designed to help you, the UK manufacturers, be at the forefront of industry adoption, leading the way and helping to understand how the UK transforms and adopts smart manufacturing and industry 4.0 technologies.

Find out more
An overview video for the new Made Smarter Technology Accelerator

In the tumultuous times we face, it can be tempting to simply cut costs rather than invest. Yet, in the long-term, this approach runs the risk of businesses getting left behind. For the UK manufacturing sector to thrive and become a world leader, we need to find ways to encourage innovation and adoption of digital technologies. The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator – and the wider Made Smarter national movement – is designed to do just that by fostering relationships between technology innovators and manufacturers to solve genuine industry challenges.

Jürgen Maier, Chair of Digital Catapult and Co-Chair of Made Smarter

We’re a national programme to help you to fast forward and shape the UK’s technology adoption directly into your business and industry.

The programme is a match-funded approach. Partners who join the programme will:

  • Be part of the first accelerator of its kind tailored directly for industry
  • Have the opportunity to set challenges and work closely with the UK’s world-leading innovation community as they build novel solutions to some of the UK’s most pressing challenges
  • Join a network of early adopters focused on recovering and transforming industry through advanced digital technologies
  • Be part of the national Made Smarter movement backed by UK government, partnered with Digital Catapult this programme will springboard and drive the Made Smarter mission forward directly with industry
  • Collaborate with like minded businesses to transform and drive the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator forward
  • Benefit from marketing association and recognition as being at the forefront of industry adoption
  • Choose between a range of tiers to collaborate with innovators developing cutting edge products and services.

The Made Smarter wider mission is to inspire the new industrial revolution and support the vision of making the UK a global industrial leader by 2030, creating and exporting advanced digital technologies to shape how the world does business. We believe the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator sits at the heart of this mission and will enable UK manufacturers to aid the recovery, improve productivity, increase market capitalisation, export growth and accelerate sectors towards industrial net zero.

Digital Catapult recently hosted a manufacturers briefing with Jürgen Wolfgang Maier CBE, Chairman, Digital Catapult and co-chair of UK's Made Smarter programme, and Chris Courtney, UK Research and Innovation’s Challenge Director Manufacturing Made Smarter.

On demand video: Digital Catapult hosted a manufacturers briefing
More about the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator
  • What is the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator?

    The programme works with both leading UK manufacturers and digital technology startups to develop innovative technology solutions to many of the UK’s core manufacturing challenges.

    Designed for industry our match-funded partners will have the opportunity to scope and define the challenges set by industry. The UK’s technology and digital startup ecosystem is the strongest in Europe and London is one of the leading global tech hubs in the world. The programme is made real by the UK’s powerful technology innovator community.

    Joining the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is an exciting opportunity to leverage government funding, to drive value into your business by tapping into Digital Catapult’s talentpool of thousands of UK digital startups and scaleups.

  • The partners and programme will set challenges across five themes

    The programme will innovate across five themes to deliver impact for industry

    1. Intelligent factory/site management and control
    2. Intelligent product verification and validation
    3. Transparent and data driven procurement
    4. Digitally enabled factory/site workforce
    5. Resource measurement and analytics

    With the following industry impacts:

    • Optimising manufacturing operations

    • Creating trusted and resilient supply chains

    • Delivering higher quality with lower waste

    • Generating new revenue opportunities

    • Encouraging more sustainable business
      Improving factory/site productivity.

  • What are the technology solutions that will be considered as part of the Made Smarter Technology?

    The four core technologies are:

    • Future networks and advanced digital infrastructure (5G and the internet of things including; low powered wide area networks, NB-IoT, LIFI etc. including sensors, edge devices, wearables etc.)
    • Immersive technologies - Extended reality (virtual, augmented, mixed reality and haptics)
    • Artificial intelligence and machine learning (natural language processing, machine vision, deep learning)
    • Distributed ledger technologies (Blockchain etc.)
  • What is the significance of the accelerator programme?

    The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator aims to boost the technology adoption and acceleration of advanced digital technologies for the manufacturing sector across the UK. By doing so, it will create a highly competitive and fertile environment for the manufacturing sector which will then improve productivity, increase market capitalisation, export growth and accelerate sectors towards industrial net zero.

  • Who can get involved and what are the partnership opportunities?

    Made Smarter Technology Accelerator works with both leading UK manufacturers and the UK’s digital innovation community to develop innovative technology solutions to many of the UK’s core manufacturing challenges.

    For industrial sponsors we have a number of partner options to cater from medium to large manufacturers. Our offerings are available for:

    • Industrial sponsors
    • Tech sponsors
    • Attendee membership
    • SME membership

    To find out more about the match-funded opportunities and how to get involved as one of these partners please complete the registration form here.

  • What are the benefits of joining the programme?

    For industrial sponsors the programme provides the opportunity to be part of the UK development and adoption of advanced digital technologies directly into the manufacturing sector. Industrial sponsors will be at the forefront of challenge scoping and benefit as early adopters driving industry forward. The programme will provide industrial sponsors with a competitive advantage alongside the positioning and marketing for being part of the programme. Further to this, our industrial sponsors will be able to access the innovation community and be part of our industry events and showcases.

  • What are the programme phases

    The programme operates in three phases:

    Phase one - partner onboarding and challenge setting

    The first phase of the programme seeks our industrial sponsors to join the programme. At this phase we’ll work together with industry to set and define the challenges to be addressed by technological advancements.

    Phase two - innovation community onboarding and prototypes

    From December 2020 we’ll put out an open call to the innovative technology community. Following judging and contracting, up to 20 applicant teams will be selected to each receive up to £20,000 funding and the opportunity and support to develop prototypes that will pivot industry challenges. Successful applicants, from across the technology stack, will work directly with the industrial sponsors and Digital Catapult experts to develop prototypes and leading solutions. During this phase applicants will gain access to focused workshops, facilities and mentorship that will complement and aid the funding to develop prototypes for industrial sponsors. We’ll present the final prototypes at the Industry Prototype Presentation currently scheduled for July 2021.

    Phase three - minimal viable products (MVP) and final showcase

    On successful completion of phase one and the development of prototypes, the programme will select three applicant teams for further funding and support to develop their solution into minimal viable products. These solutions will be presented and pitched at the final Showcase currently scheduled for November 2021.

  • What are the key dates for the programme?
    • Open call for industry - September 2020 - 31 October 2020
    • Partner contracting and challenge setting - Starting from October with challenges signed off the latest on the week commencing 23 November 2020
    • Open call for technology innovators - 3 December 2020 - midnight 17 January 2021
    • Programme start date, prototyping starts - 8 March 2021
    • Industry Prototype Presentation - July 2021
    • Minimum viable product developing - July 2021 - November 2021
    • Final showcase and programme close - 30th November 2021