£147 million will be invested by the government, backed by further funding from industry, to support businesses in implementing new technologies to improve their manufacturing productivity, create highly skilled jobs, helping them reach new customers, slash carbon emissions and reduce prices for consumers.
As the UK builds back from the pandemic, the investment will give a crucial lift to aerospace, automotive, pharmaceuticals and food and beverage sectors.
14 manufacturing projects involving around 30 small or medium businesses, 29 larger enterprises and nine universities, is being granted the first £50 million of funding from the Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge with the rest of the funds due over the next five years.
WeldZero, which will explore the use of robots, sensors and automation to improve accuracy when welding metal parts on production lines and The Digital Sandwich, which is creating software aimed at boosting food quality and reducing waste in the food supply chain are amongst the winning projects.
Alok Sharma, Business Secretary said: “Increasing productivity is vital for any business and having the right new technologies in place can help manufacturers make better products to compete and thrive.
“By helping manufacturers to reduce costs, cut waste and slash the time it takes to develop their products, this multi-million pound uplift will help fire up the cylinders of productivity as we build back better from the pandemic.”
A national network of innovation ‘hubs’ will also be created by the programme, where businesses can partner or share advice to help spur growth and creative ideas.
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