As part of a North West pilot project, Croft AM is among 62 small to medium sized business across the region to invest in a range of digital technologies including 3D printing, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, data analytics, Industrial Internet of Things and robotics, to solve business challenges and deliver an additional 52 million GBP in gross value added (GVA) for the North West economy over the next three years.
Donna Edwards, Programme Director for the Made Smarter North West pilot, said: “Over the last year the Made Smarter team has engaged with hundreds of makers from every corner of the region.
“We have found a great enthusiasm about the benefits of adopting new digital technology tempered by uncertainty of how to go about it.
“It’s clear that the SMEs need the specialist advice and insight to help them select the right approach for their business, how much to invest and which technologies will bring the greatest benefits.
Edwards is urging more engineering and manufacturing SMEs with a staff of less than 250 to get in touch to find out if they could benefit from the programme.
Since its official launch in November 2018, 300 North West SMEs have received support in the form of specialist one to one advice, digital roadmapping workshops, training programmes and a collective 1.6 million GBP in funding. The goal is to help businesses to improve productivity, revenue, exports and skills through the adoption of new technologies. The 20 million GBP pilot programme will run until March 2021.
Juergen Maier, former CEO of Siemens and co-chair of the commission, commented: “When we launched Made Smarter in November 2018 our ambition was to kick start a new industrial revolution for the manufacturing sector and turn the UK into a world leader in digital technologies.
“I am thrilled that so many manufacturers in the North West have grasped what I believe is a once in a generational opportunity to boost productivity, create high value and highly paid jobs of the future. Our task now is to scale this up and see what other regions can learn from the great work that’s already being done here.”