UK businesses can apply for funding from a £30 million government pot that aims to advance industrial digital technologies that are developed using IoT, AI and robotics.
The funding comes as part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), a fund that aims to improve and modernise the UK’s manufacturing industry with the goal of raising productivity by 30 percent in 2030.
To receive funding a project must be centred on one sector of the manufacturing industry, but also have the scope to benefit at least two other sectors.
A UK government report found that with proper industrial digitalisation productivity in UK manufacturing could rise by more than 25 percent.
Juergen Maier CBE, Siemens UK CEO and co-chair of the Made Smarter Commission commented in a release: “Through this challenge there is a real opportunity to boost national productivity and stimulate engineering entrepreneurship which will create the new high wage-high skilled jobs of the future.”
Industrial Digital Technologies
The government have put forward four themes that companies can select form if they wish to apply for a slice of the £30 million. The themes are;
- smart, connected factory, including use of real-time data to optimise efficiency and capture, analysis and visualisation of manufacturing processes
- connected and versatile supply chain, including information integration, communication, traceability and trust
- design, make, test, including transforming product design through digital technologies and virtual product testing, verification and modelling, quality monitoring and inspection
- adaptable flexible manufacturing operations and skills, including culture change and skills development, and human-centric automation and autonomy
To receive part of the fund a UK business must be eligible to receive state funding and all Projects must be collaborative and involve an SME. Any projects put forward for funding must be between £250,000 and £10 million.
Projects can last between six months and a year.
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.”
The funding is now available and the deadline for applications is August 21, 2019.