A new joint initiative led by Edge Hill University to support the adoption of productivity-boosting digital technologies in SME manufactures has been launched across the North West.
The Manufacturing Connect (MC) initiative brings together manufacturing, technology and business experts from Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NW) in Preston, and Manchester Metropolitan University.
The UK’s productivity challenges are well documented, and the recent impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic have only served to exacerbate this issue.
Digital technologies have an important role in improving productivity, embedding business resilience, and supporting growth and recovery.
In the UK, the rates at which SMEs adopt even well-established and known digital technologies is far behind that of other European and North American countries.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK have recognised this issue and are supporting regional initiatives like MC to trial and test methods which will seek to overcome the common barriers to this adoption, such as lack of knowledge, lack of information, productivity literacy, and unclear impacts and benefits.
The initiative is designed to support manufacturing SMEs from all sectors across the North West, and the dedicated team is currently looking for interested businesses to take part to overcome their barriers to adoption.
MC seeks to actively support more than 100 SMEs up to February 2021, by running cycles of a digital-facilitated Adoption Sprint Process.