Manufacturers to benefit from £4.9m digitalisation programme

Manufacturing businesses across Yorkshire and Humber can now join the £4.9m Made Smarter scheme, which will help them digitalise their business through expert business support.

The programme, which is being delivered by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), encourages digital adoption amongst SMEs in Yorkshire and Humber and includes intensive one-to-one advice and support.

Over 200 Yorkshire & Humber SMEs engaged with the Made Smarter pilot programme in 2021 and almost 400 projects and activities were completed, ranging from digital diagnostics, intensive technical support and capital expenditure grants.

Andrew Armstrong, SYMCA’s Made Smarter development manager, said: “The Made Smarter programme will help regional manufacturers to embrace digital adoption, with a view to increasing productivity as part of gaining a competitive advantage.

“The programme is designed to support SMEs to use digital processes across all their methods of manufacture, providing more efficiency and better information to enable them to improve continually and fine-tune their processes.

“There are digital experts in all of the Yorkshire and Humber Growth Hubs who will assess each business’s requirements and make sure they are provided with the kind of specialist support they need.”

The Made Smarter programme has confirmed Oxford Innovation Advice has been awarded the delivery contract for the second round of the digital upskilling scheme.

Oxford Innovation Advice has supported over 33,000 businesses through expertly managed business support programmes, of which more than 4,300 are SME manufacturers who have received support to make digital business improvements and work towards Industry 4.0.

As delivery partners, it will lead on the overall programme management, contract management and governance with support from Brook Consulting, Edge Digital, the Institute of Manufacturing and the in-house team at SYMCA.

Made Smarter provides funded advice from a team of specialist technology experts.

The team support businesses by identifying the right digital tools for making everyday improvements who can then benefit from up to 50% match funding, with grants up to a maximum value of £20,000, as well as guidance on creating an effective digital roadmap to ensure the right technology is taking businesses in the right direction.

Any manufacturing business in Yorkshire and the Humber is invited to apply for Made Smarter funding by visiting the website: