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Monday, July 22, 2024

£20m ‘Made Smarter’ programme launched to boost manufacturing sector across Lancashire

A new £20 million initiative, designed to embed advanced digital technology across the North West’s manufacturing sector to boost productivity, was officially launched today.

Backed by national government and some of the world’s biggest businesses, the Made Smarter North West programme is set to engage with 3,000 SME manufacturers based in Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.

Lancashire companies which get involved in the project will get the chance to access match funded support and advice regarding how industrial digital technologies (IDT), including robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and the Internet of Things (IoT), could revolutionise their manufacturing processes.

It is anticipated that by becoming a test-bed for new types of technologies and advanced processes, the region’s manufacturing sector could generate a 25% increase in productivity and add £115m to the North West economy.

Co-Chaired by Business Secretary Greg Clarke, and CEO of Siemens Juergen Maier, the Commission includes representatives from 17 leading companies and organisations directly linked to manufacturing.

As well as Siemens, who employ 2,000 people in the North West, other members of the Commission with a major presence in the region include Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover and Lancashire-based employers Rolls Royce, BAE Systems.

Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens, said: “Made Smarter has the potential to kick start a new industrial revolution for our manufacturing sector and be a catalyst for new investment in the latest digital technologies. At its core will be helping local businesses to innovate, creating new growth and technology opportunities in the process.”

Made Smarter will be delivered across the county by Boost, Lancashire’s business Growth Hub.

Andy Walker from Boost, said: “With new facilities such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at Samlesbury, the Health Innovation Campus at Lancaster, the Energy HQ in Blackpool and UCLan’s Engineering Innovation Centre in Preston, Lancashire is developing a truly world class technology-led innovation infrastructure.

“However, the Made Smarter North West programme means that any Lancashire firms unsure about how to maximise these assets.”

 

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