Made Smarter Technology Accelerator

Simon Edmonds highlights the latest developments in the Made Smarter programme designed to address some of the UK’s most relevant manufacturing challenges and outlines the lates IoT solutions.

UK manufacturers can often struggle to innovate and adopt digital technologies. If they do invest, it is typically a long decision-making process as these investments cut into their low profit margins, require greater hybrid skills to manage them and often don’t fit into established product life-cycles, which can be seven times higher than the average lifetime of a digital product development time.

The UK manufacturing industry will need to shift if it is to keep its competitiveness on the international market and better integrate with the digital sector.

The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator works with both leading manufacturers and digital technology start-ups to adopt and develop innovative solutions to many of the UK’s key manufacturing challenges.



Delivered by Digital Catapult, funded by UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, as part of the national Made Smarter movement, Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a national programme, set to fast-forward and shape the UK’s technology adoption directly into industry.

Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a match-funded programme for medium and large manufacturers who will be part of a select group at the forefront of digital adoption, helping to define the scope of challenges and be directly involved in the programme, the outputs of which will generate a direct impact to achieving a competitive edge for business.

Once the challenges are set and partners are on board, the programme will then work with UK technology start-ups, providing them with funding and a platform to grow as they develop prototypes. It will focus on technology innovators working with the following advanced digital technologies:


  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning (natural language processing, machine vision, deep learning, etc)
  • Immersive technologies including extended reality (virtual, augmented, mixed reality and haptics) • Future networks and advanced digital infrastructure (5G, low powered wide area networks, the Internet of Things, NB-IoT, LIFI, etc)
  • Distributed ledger technologies (blockchain, etc) Key dates:
  • 30 October 2020, medium and large manufacturer partnership opportunities close
  • December 2020 start-up open call launches. Business can register their interest via http://bit.ly/InnovateUKOct01

The Connected Factory A very interesting report has been published by Digital Catapult looking at how the organisation worked to develop and demonstrate in-factory Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for two UK companies – Special Metals Wiggin based in Hereford and Dyer Engineering of County Durham.

IoT solutions applied within manufacturing and factory environments have the potential to unlock productivity, streamline processes, improve yield and increase quality control and ultimately drive improvements throughout the production process.

As part of this project, Digital Catapult worked with both factories to demonstrate the value of its solutions and the ability to implement them without an expensive refit.

To read the report please visit http://bit.ly/InnovateUKOct02

To find out more how Digital Catapult can help manufacturers develop Internet of Things solutions, please visit Rukmini Prasad’s blog at:  http://bit.ly/InnovateUKOct03