14 March 2017

Open call for SMEs to beat sector's productivity gap

Two leading industrial bodies have defied SMEs to find solutions that will positively disrupt UK manufacturing and combat some of the challenges facing the sector.

Digital Catapult and Innovate UK are introducing the Industry 4.0 Hack & Pitch, which will look to enhance collaboration between manufacturing and innovative SMEs as the industry looks to combat a growing skills and productivity shortage.

Digital Catapult have identified three key areas that could benefit from a digital transformation and help the industry get out of its productivity rut. Design, production and product lifecycle have all been highlighted.

SMEs will work with experts in the field and corporate sponsors to address specific areas of focus, including Digital Twins and remote condition monitoring. The Digital Engineering and Test Centre will be looking at exploiting the potential of Digital Twins; Tata Steel will be working with SMEs to find solutions to utilise test results to inform the manufacturing process for high-value steel products; and Siemens will look at how remote monitoring can improve productivity.

The Digital Catapult is interested in hearing from SMEs in any of these areas. On top of the advice and guidance of experts, the Hack & Pitch will provide companies with access to technologists and challenge specialists from within the international manufacturing industry. The opportunity allows companies to work with the best in their field, as well as those affiliated with Industry 4.0.

“We are thrilled to bring together companies from many sectors of the Manufacturing industries - from some of the leading players to some of the most innovative SMEs just starting to break through,” said Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO of the Digital Catapult. “This competition will, we hope, help companies to address opportunities and issues in a collaborative way and to offer up some new, exciting and unexpected solutions.”

Selected participants will have the opportunity to raise their profile at the Industry 4.0 Summit in Manchester in April, where they will have the chance of being named Summit Champions. Deadline for entries is 12 noon on Monday 20 March.

Chris Beck

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