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UK textile manufacturing SMEs adopt new technologies

Three British textile firms are the latest to adopt industrial digital technologies designed to boost growth and productivity. Panaz based in Burnley, Edward Taylor Textiles in Blackburn and Dukinfield-based Tibard are the latest small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have secured funding through the government’s ‘Made Smarter’ programme.

They are among 62 businesses now investing in a range of industrial digital technologies, including data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), 3D-printing and robotics, to solve business challenges across a range of manufacturing functions and deliver an additional £52 million in gross value added (GVA) for the North West economy over the next three years, according to a press release.

Three hundred North West SMES have secured support, including specialised advice and £1.6 million in funding, in the first year of the Made Smarter programme.

This support includes expert impartial advice and one-to-one support, digital roadmapping workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps to transform their business, eight-month leadership and management training programmes offered in partnership with Lancaster University, as well as funded three-month student placements.

By adopting these cutting-edge technologies, businesses benefit from improved productivity and revenue, increased exports and job creation, providing new skills to workforces, enhanced integration with supply chains and reduced environmental impact.

 

The £20-million pilot programme was launched in November 2018, becoming operational in January 2019, and runs until March 2021. The pilot will inform how best to support SME manufacturers in the adoption of new industrial digital technologies.

The North West pilot is being overseen by the Made Smarter Commission – a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and industry leaders.

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