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£53 million funding for UK manufacturers to boost competitiveness through digital tech

30 July 2021
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Bristol and Warwick universities are to benefit from £53 million in government funding for five new digital manufacturing research centres and projects to help supply chains become more productive are among recipients of £53 million of new government funding to drive the development of the latest digital manufacturing technologies.

The funding has been awarded though the national Made Smarter programme, a collaboration between UK government and industry designed to support the development and increase use of these emerging technologies.

Adoption of the latest data-driven innovations, such as use of AI and blockchain in supply chains, or advanced robotics and smart machines in manufacturing, will help manufacturers to increase productivity, become more sustainable and build back better from the pandemic.

Nearly £25 million will be invested in five new industry-sponsored research centres set up around the UK, including at the University of Strathclyde and University of Nottingham, to accelerate the development of cutting-edge digital solutions that can transform manufacturing businesses across many sectors.

Based in universities throughout the UK, they will help to make supply chains faster, more efficient, and more resilient. Each centre will focus on a different area of manufacturing and include a  Digital Medicines Manufacturing Research Centre, based in Strathclyde, Cambridge and Loughborough Universities, a Research Centre for Smart, Collaborative Industrial Robotics, based in Loughborough, Strathclyde, Cranfield, Bristol and Warwick Universities, a Research Centre for Connected Factories, based in Nottingham, Cambridge and Sheffield Universities, a Materials Made Smarter Research Centre, based in Sheffield, Cambridge and Loughborough Universities, and a People-Led Digitalisation, based in Bath, Nottingham and Loughborough Universities.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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