Funded and announced projects
Find out more about the challenge as well as reading some case studies (PDF, 3MB).
Collaborative research and development
£50 million grant funding has been awarded across four rounds of collaborative research and development projects bringing together partners of all sizes, with skill sets spanning technology development organisations and manufacturing businesses.
Projects will work in close partnership over a period of up to two years to develop, test and refine digital technologies that will deliver results in manufacturing settings.
Round one of funding, launched in 2019, supported 14 innovative projects including:
- developing an ‘open’ software platform for food manufacturers to share data throughout the supply chain, improving efficiencies and cashflow
- ‘smart’ devices that can exchange information between old and modern production equipment and operating systems to enable a greater understanding of the data
- innovation in additive manufacturing processes to develop a new solution for rapid sand-casting production
Read the full list of round one winners.
Round two of funding has been awarded, with 27 feasibility study projects and 10 industrial research activities. Funded projects include a cloud-based, digitally enabled supply chain via a digital platform that will monitor how much carbon is created through the supply chain, to reduce emissions.
Read the full list of round two winners.
Round three of funding, launched in October 2022, awarded grants to 12 projects that harness digital technologies to drive energy efficiency, productivity, and growth across key manufacturing industries, including:
Read the full list of round three winners.
Round four of funding, awarded in the summer of 2023, providing grants to 11 projects for late-stage robotics and automation projects with a focus on developing solutions to improve productivity, sustainability, and resilience deployable within factory production areas.
Project types funded include Process Control, Machine Vision, and development in end gripper technology, with deployments across sectors including food and drink, electronics and fast-moving consumer goods.
Read the full list of round four winners.
Made Smarter Innovation Hub pilots
The £3 million pilot programme delivered three fast start testbeds.
Made Smarter smart factory testbed, delivered by High Value Manufacturing Catapult, enabled businesses to test the latest digital manufacturing solutions in a broad range of applications, before investment.
Learn more about the Made Smarter smart factory testbed.
Made Smarter marketplace, delivered by Swansea University, developed an online marketplace, designed to optimise manufacturing supply chain networks, and create a new industry-wide business model.
Learn more about the Made Smarter marketplace.
Digital validation and verification testbed delivered by the National Physical Laboratory has developed a digital demonstrator that can evaluate personal protective equipment performance against selected standard requirements.
Following the successful pilots two large innovation hubs have received £35 million funding.
Made Smarter Innovation Digital Supply Chain Hub
The Made Smarter Innovation Digital Supply Chain Hub is developing and empowering a globally competitive digital innovation ecosystem to address and prepare for critical supply chain challenges.
The hub, led by The Digital Catapult, is harnessing the power of UK manufacturing, bringing businesses and researchers together to develop novel solutions, tackle sector-specific and industrywide challenges and build a strong UK supply chain community.
The hub is a collaboration between Digital Catapult, TWI (The Welding Institute), National Physical Laboratory and industry leaders accelerating the digital future.
Find out more about the Made Smarter Innovation Digital Supply Chain Hub.
Smart Manufacturing Data Hub
The Smart Manufacturing Data Hub supports small and medium-sized businesses to become more competitive by harnessing the power of data. When data is raw and unrefined, there is little value. The hub turns data into timely, actionable insights, creating information to guide manufacturers’ decisions to improve their manufacturing business.
Led by Ulster University, the hub works with several delivery partners to help increase productivity, growth, and sustainability, supporting businesses, with manufacturers across the UK already utilising the hub.
The hub team assists manufacturers in developing, testing, and adopting the latest data-driven technologies via the hub’s data exchange platform and analytics services, virtual and physical testbeds, and grant funding.
Find out more about the Smart Manufacturing Data Hub.
Two technology accelerators have been funded.
Made Smarter Technology Accelerator
The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a national programme set to shape the technology innovation for the manufacturing sector. Working with both manufacturers and innovative UK start-ups and scale-ups, the programme will see leading innovators develop technology prototypes that will pivot some of the UK’s most prevalent manufacturing challenges.
Find out more about the programme delivered by Digital Catapult.
The Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator
Digital Catapult and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult have been awarded £4 million to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions specifically designed to tackle major sustainability challenges in the UK manufacturing sector.
The two Catapults will work alongside industry partners and innovative small businesses to transform the country’s manufacturing sector by using advanced digital technologies to deliver greater resource efficiency and energy efficiency as part of the industry’s journey to net zero.
Find out more about the project.
Eureka Global Stars
In 2018, the Netherlands launched the first Eureka Global Stars funding opportunity with Taiwan on the topic of Photonics in collaboration with France and Denmark. To continue this innovation synergy, a new funding opportunity was organised with Taiwan, The Netherlands, the UK, and Canada in 2021.
A total of eight projects were selected for funding, covering fields such as semiconductors and photonics, smart manufacturing, and circular economy. Made Smarter Innovation has funded three industrial collaborations between Eureka Global Star Taiwan and UK digital.
The Eureka Globalstar Taiwan and UK competition, for MSI (Made Smarter Innovation) Challenge focused on smart manufacturing and digital supply chains.
The aim of this competition is to identify collaborators and collaboration projects between UK and Taiwanese businesses.
Innovation Funding Service: 10028103
Lead: Q5D Technologies Limited
Maximising bioproduction in CHO cell by interdisciplinary engineering and artificial intelligence (AI)
Innovation Funding Service: 10029053
Lead: Genenet Technology (UK) Limited
AI-driven automatic regression creation for digital integrated circuit design
Innovation Funding Service: 10029157
Lead: MediaTek Research UK Limited
£35 million has been granted to six multidisciplinary research projects in collaboration with ESRC and EPSRC.
InterAct is an ESRC-led network that aims to bring together economic and social scientists, UK manufacturers, and digital technology providers to address the human issues resulting from the diffusion of innovative technologies in industry.
The network aims to bring together economic and social scientists, UK manufacturers, and digital technology providers. They will aim to address the human issues resulting from the diffusion of innovative technologies in industry to build a strong, vibrant, interdisciplinary community where funding can be effectively distributed to researchers who will generate actionable economic and social science insights for the benefit of UK businesses.
Find out more about InterAct.
Made Smarter Innovation Connected Factories Research Centre
The Made Smarter Innovation Connected Factories Research Centre, led by the University of Nottingham in collaboration with the Universities of Cambridge and Sheffield, aims to develop a blueprint for the factories of the future that will be able to respond to changing market requirements by being resilient, adaptable, and reconfigurable.
It aims to show that through using maturing digital technologies, such as industrial internet of things devices, AI, and big data analytics, we can propose a radical original approach to building the manufacturing infrastructure of the future, which is cost competitive, can take new products to market quickly and can adapt to changes rapidly.
Made Smarter Innovation: Digital Medicines Manufacturing research centre
The Made Smarter Innovation: Digital Medicines Manufacturing research centre based in Strathclyde, Cambridge, and Loughborough Universities, aims to create digital supply chains that enable medicines to be supplied on demand and enable clinical trials to operate more flexibly.
It aims to advance medicines development, manufacture, quality control and supply by creating data-driven industrial digital technologies, including AI, robotics and digital twins. The programme will accelerate adoption through a focus on co-creation with industry partners.
Materials Made Smarter Centre
The Materials Made Smarter Centre, is a joint endeavour between four EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hubs: MAPP, SUSTAIN, CIMComp and LiME. A community of researchers across the materials manufacturing value chain, developing exciting advances in digital research, edge-AI, sensors, and modelling and making them accessible to industry partners.
The vision is to put the UK’s materials intensive manufacturing industries at the forefront of the UK’s technological advancement and green recovery.
Made Smarter Innovation People Led Digitalisation Research Centre
The Made Smarter Innovation People Led Digitalisation Research Centre led by the University of Bath in collaboration with Nottingham and Loughborough Universities, aims to achieve the highest level of manufacturing productivity by increasing the digital knowledge and awareness of manufacturers.
It aims to improve the outcome of digital technology adoption by creating a practical and useable industry process to ensure prior, explicit consideration and appropriate action is taken to prioritise human needs and working patterns in designing and implementing digitalised work systems. This change management process will be one industry can follow if they want to put people at the heart of their thinking when adopting digital technologies.
Made Smarter Innovation Centre for Smart Collaborative Industrial Robotics
The Made Smarter Innovation Centre for Smart Collaborative Industrial Robotics, also known as MSI Smart Cobotics centre, is a collaboration between Loughborough University, University of Bristol, Cranfield University, University of Dundee, University of Strathclyde, and University of Warwick.
The mission is to create a trans-disciplinary, cross-sector hub that will unlock the vast potential of intelligent, collaborative industrial robotics to increase productivity, quality, and adaptability for the UK industry.