Help make UK manufacturing smarter

12 March 2019

Industrial digital technology providers across the UK are being invited to take part in a nationwide mapping exercise that will highlight their capabilities to support the early adoption of smart technologies among small and medium sized businesses around the country. 

The UK-wide capability mapping of Industrial Digitalisation Technologies (IDTs) will support the National Adoption Programme highlighted in the government-commissioned Made Smarter Review, which could boost UK manufacturing by £455 billion over the next decade.

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult is leading on the exercise to make UK manufacturing smarter by identifying key regional resources and organisations operating and providing services in five IDT areas: artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics; additive manufacturing; robotics and automation; virtual reality and augmented reality; and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and connectivity.

The mapping is being done on behalf of Innovate UK and Made Smarter Review released in 2017 which highlighted the need for a national programme to accelerate adoption of smart technologies through focused support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Organisations can submit an application for inclusion in the map by completing the form here ( The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 15.

There are several benefits and opportunities for organisations submitting information including: 

  • Greater industrial and public awareness of your organisational capabilities;
  • Inclusion in a map of regional strengths that could be shared widely on a national scale potentially resulting in commercial income and new industrial links;
  • An opportunity to highlight case studies of in-house capability and expertise;
  • During the adoption programme, possible signposting to your organisation’s capabilities;
  • Increased engagement between Industry and Universities and research and technology organisations through focused projects, placements and workshops.

The form requests organisational contact details, active Industrial Digitalisation Technologies in your facility, potential dates and times for on-site visits and GDPR consent.

The capabilities of each organisation will be recorded and verified through site visits by one of the project partners, either the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC) or the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN).

The database of organisations and their capabilities will be used by the Made Smarter Commission and Innovate UK to help signpost Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to regional support and help facilitate mentoring, focused projects, placements and workshops.

The Made Smarter Review was commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to assess the current level of Industrial Digitalisation and to recommend means of unlocking the full potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (I4.0).

The review, led by Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK, made three key recommendations: leadership, innovation and adoption of IDTs. The Adoption Programme aims to ease the diffusion or uptake of IDTs by industry, with a particular focus on SMEs. To achieve this, a highly visible, effective and dynamic industrial ecosystem must be created. Mapping existing activity is the first step on the journey.

Inherent to the adoption programme is the identification of regional support services, provided by universities, institutions and Research Technology Organisations (RTOs). Private companies with appropriate demonstration facilities may also be added to the database.

The activities will include part funded projects, placements and workshops which will build strong relationships. Each of the IDTs are further categorised in a full Technology Taxonomy that will signpost SMEs directly to focused capabilities of each organisation in their region.

The project team, guided by Innovate UK, have specified the following regions in which Regional Champions will be assigned to visit organisations and verify their capabilities:

  • East of England
  • South West
  • East Midlands
  • West Midlands
  • North East
  • Yorkshire and the Humber
  • London and the South East
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland

 The North West was mapped in an earlier study. For any questions or queries regarding the mapping activity please email 

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