Our Technical Director, Martin, attended the Wirral Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Forum earlier this month. It was a great opportunity to catch up with local manufacturers based on the Wirral. The theme of this event was business improvement projects and funding available in the North West, for manufacturing innovation. The two key projects being the Manufacturing Growth Fund and also Made Smarter.

The North West is a real focus for projects focusing on improving manufacturing productivity at the moment, due to it being a key part of the UK economy. In the North West, there are 14,500 manufacturing companies, generating 15% of the UK’s total manufacturing output.

Manufacturing Growth Fund

The North West Manufacturing Growth fund is designed to support consultancy costs, for manufacturing business improvements. This leads to outputs of improved productivity and job creation. Projects can be undertaken to improve Sales & Marketing, Operations, Systems, IT and Innovation.

Key Details

  • 36% grant funding.
  • Projects between £3-20k.
  • SME’s in North West are eligible (up to 250 employees and £50M revenue).

You can find out more about the Manufacturing Growth Fund here.

Made Smarter

Mannufacturing Innovation Made Smarter Logo

The Made Smarter initiative is aiming to increase Industrial Digital Technologies (IDTs) in the UK, by increasing leadership, adoption and innovation. A pilot scheme based in the North West was consequently launched in November 2018 and is testing out best ways to work with manufacturers to implement IDTs.

As part of the initiative, £20m in funding is available for North West manufacturers through 480 match-funded grants, for specialist advice & equipment.

It is aiming to raise awareness of the benefits and business opportunities of digital manufacturing. The benefits of adoption of IDTs in business include:

  • Raising productivity and international competitiveness of manufacturing businesses
  • Increased production efficiency
  • Reducing labour and materials costs
  • Getting ahead of the competition
  • Future proofing your business

Support is available to SME’s in the form of business assessment from IDT experts, grant funding (50% funding if projects up to £40k), student placements and also leadership management training.

Examples of projects that would be undertaken by Made Smarter are:

  • Machine learning to improve production quality
  • Automation to improve productivity and upskill employees
  • Systems integration to link machinery across a manufacturing process

You can find out more about Made Smarter here.

Metis Automation helps manufacturers increase their productivity and profits with Paperless Manufacturing Software. To find out how you can benefit from manufacturing innovation, contact us now.