North West manufacturers enhance productivity with support from Made Smarter

Do you think businesses can boost productivity in the current turbulent market?

The government initiative, Made Smarter, aims to increase the capacity of manufacturers in the North West. The programme was launched two years ago and has introduced industrial design technologies to 542 businesses, enabling SMEs to grow and navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Made Smarter provides intensive support to manufacturers. As a result, £3.2 million in matched funding has been secured by 126 businesses for 155 projects. The projects are valued at £12.6 million after private sector investment and are expected to create over 760 jobs and upskill 1,585 existing workers.

The technology adoption projects being developed by manufacturers use technology to integrate systems, collect and analyse data and create simulations of business operations. Others are solving challenges and meeting increased in demand through 3D-printing, automation and robotics.

Over the next three years, the projects are expected to increase the North West’s gross value added (GVA) by £118.9 million. More than 80% of SMEs partnering with Made Smarter have experienced a productivity increase, while c. 25% have decreased their carbon emissions.

Chairman of Made Smarter, Juergen Maier, said that “In the tumultuous times we face it can be tempting to simply cut costs rather than invest. Yet, in the long term, this approach runs the risk of businesses getting left behind. For the UK manufacturing sector to thrive and become a world leader, we need to find ways to encourage innovation and the adoption of digital technologies.”