New funding call to develop new robotic and automation solutions in UK manufacturing

Posted on 17 Jan 2023 by The Manufacturer

The Made Smarter Innovation Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK, has launched a new £6m late-stage robotics and automation industrialisation funding call for collaborative research and development. Projects can seek grant funding for project values up to £4m.

The competition is open to applications from projects that:

  • Are robotic or automation focused within a factory production area
  • Focused on value-adding production tasks or related movement between process
  • Be an innovative digital development
  • Help production activities or related processes within UK manufacturing to become more productive, sustainable, and resilient.

The Made Smarter Innovation Challenge is working to deliver a resilient, flexible, more productive, and environmentally sustainable UK manufacturing sector. As part of the national Made Smarter initiative, the Challenge will support the transformation of UK manufacturing by pioneering the development and integration of new and existing industrial digital technologies (IDTs).

Chris Needham, Innovation Lead, Made Smarter Innovation, Innovate UK said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for manufacturers big or small with a development need, working alongside technology developers able to develop innovative solutions, to come together to create smarter and more flexible robotic solutions. Digital technologies such as robotics and automation can help boost productivity and we look forward to seeing applications from a wide spectrum of manufacturing sectors.”

Applications will open on 18 January and close in early April 2023. All projects must be business-led, involving a collaborative consortium with UK partners only. Participants can be any size organisation and can include Universities or RTOs. The full scope will be available on the Innovation Funding Service.

The Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network is hosting a briefing webinar and two collaboration events to provide further guidance, networking, and collaboration. Register for the briefing webinar on 18 January and collaboration events here – Summary – Made Smarter Collaborative Research & Development Fund Competition and Consortium Building Events (

Read more of our Automation articles here