Transforming UK manufacturing at Innovation Alley 2022

Posted on 12 Oct 2022 by The Manufacturer

Applications are now open for Made Smarter Innovation Alley, the UK’s largest showcase of leading-edge digital technologies for the manufacturing sector. Paul Gadd, Deputy Director, Innovate UK, explains.

Running through the heart of Smart Factory Expo, the exhibition area of Digital Manufacturing Week, Made Smarter Innovation Alley (taking place in Liverpool on 16-17 November 2022) is the UK’s primary showcase of leading edge, new, innovative digital technologies applicable to the manufacturing sector.

We are looking for companies with innovative solutions in exciting technologies such as AI, machine learning, additive manufacturing, sensors, blockchain, robotics, immersive technologies and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) who are less than five years old and employ less than ten members of staff, to join us on Innovation Alley where businesses can test their ideas, develop partnerships, raise their profile and meet potential customers.

Over the last four years, Innovate UK and Innovate UK KTN have provided full funding and support for over 200 start-ups and scale-ups to explore how their ideas and innovations will work across the manufacturing sector, both in the UK and globally. Innovation Alley exhibitors’ solutions have spanned many industry sectors including medtech, chemistry, defence, nuclear, automotive, aerospace, food and drink, and many others.

Companies on the alley also have the opportunity to get involved in a light touch investor readiness programme and present to a select group of investors looking to invest in this exact area of technology and sector.

Previous Alley exhibitor Andre Wegner, CEO at Authentise, said: “Innovation Alley was an exciting opportunity to test new products for the first time. We’ve perfected our data-driven and connected workflow management tools in the additive manufacturing industry over the last decade, after some challenging and interesting discussions on Innovation Alley.”

Why apply for Innovation Alley?

  • Reach the right audiences (over 5,000 manufacturers attend Smart Factory Expo every year)
  • Build partnerships that can make your digital technology solutions much more appealing to larger manufacturing customers
  • A fantastic opportunity to market test new ideas and solutions with the people who would be using them
  • It’s free to participate in this fantastic opportunity (funded and supported by Innovate UK and partners)

Register today and be part of the UK’s largest showcase of innovative digital solution providers for the manufacturing industry.

Funding opportunities

Innovate UK Smart Grants: UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25m for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 26 October 2022. For more information please see KCompetition overview – Innovate UK Smart Grants: July 2022 – Innovation Funding Service.

The Future Leaders Fellowships (FLFs): The next round of funding is to fund the most promising researchers and innovators from businesses and academia. A share of £100m is available to support early career researchers and innovators.

FLFs offer talented innovators and researchers the opportunity to secure significant levels of funding, pursue world class research and innovation and push their careers to the next level.

Funding is available over four years and there is no maximum or minimum award value. To date, the FLF scheme has funded fellowships from £300,000 to over £2m, with no preference for lower or higher costed proposals.

Along with universities and research organisations, UK registered businesses of any size and from any sector can apply. The potential benefits are significant; from tackling the biggest challenges in your industry to building effective cross-sector collaborations.

We have seen a round-on-round increase in the number of successful business-led applications to the scheme. To date the FLF programme has supported 41 business-based fellows working across diverse sectors, from social science and heritage through to aerospace and medtech.

For more information, please see Future Leaders Fellowships: round 7 UKRI.

Horizon Europe Guarantee: The Horizon Europe Guarantee scheme provides funding to researchers and innovators unable to receive their Horizon Europe funding while the UK is in the process of associating to the programme.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is delivering the funding through its grant systems on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

For more information, please see – KApply for Horizon Europe guarantee funding – UKRI.

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