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UK government commits £30mn to digital technology competition for manufacturers

Part of the broader ‘Manufacturing Made Smarter’ challenge, the government is hoping to support the application of technology to manufacturing

The government of the United Kingdom has announced a new research and development competition for UK manufacturers.

Backed by £30mn (US$37.3mn) of funding, the competition is for projects to improve productivity and agility in UK manufacturing.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “We want to support companies of all sizes who want to develop new digital capabilities, and will support projects that will help ensure the UK remains at the forefront of technological developments. Through Made Smarter and our modern Industrial Strategy we are committed to making sure manufacturers are best placed to take advantage of the opportunities being created by industrial digitalisation and help our leading advanced manufacturing sector continue to grow.”

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Part of the broader ‘Manufacturing Made Smarter’ challenge, the government is hoping to support the application of technology to manufacturing via technologies such as data analytics and IoT.

Bidding for the competition began on 22 July, with funding intended for projects ready to begin quickly with instant impact. Projects must involve at least one SME.

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “The Manufacturing Made Smarter challenge will boost the productivity of UK manufacturing by encouraging the adoption of digital technologies across a wide range of sectors. It will ensure the long-term prosperity of UK manufacturing and contribute to an increase in total productivity, making the UK a global leader of the 4th Industrial Revolution and delivering clean growth.”