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North East scheme to promote digital technology in manufacturing


A government-backed scheme has been set up in the North East to encourage the manufacturing sector to adopt the latest digital technology.

Made Smarter Adoption North East will connect the sector to digital tools to “transform” the way they work.

“The coronavirus pandemic saw an unprecedented pace of digital adoption across many areas of industry, which ultimately helped many businesses survive,” explained Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

“Made Smarter Adoption North East is about supporting businesses in our manufacturing sector to embrace new technologies that help them become more efficient, more productive and more competitive. It connects companies with expert talent that can remove the barriers to digital adoption and ultimately make businesses more successful.”

The scheme will provide SMEs with fully-funded advice from technology experts on new digital innovations and skills.

Running in 3 stages, there will be an initial one-to-one “digital health check.” This will be followed by intensive workshops and then the businesses will work with an industrial digital technologies (IDT) specialist to move towards the implementation phase.

Further funding is provided through the programme for student and graduate placements so businesses can create digital interns to help integrate the new technology into the business. Employees are also invited to take part in digital upskilling and leadership development through a leadership training programme, which is delivered by North East universities.

“Made Smarter will be helping local manufacturing businesses to create new opportunities and innovate in the process,” said Professor Juergen Maier CBE, Co-Chair of Made Smarter UK.

“It’s a hugely exciting time and I believe this is truly a once in a generational opportunity to boost productivity and create the high value, highly paid jobs of the future.”

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