Business & academic community sets out vision for UK to be world leader in 4th industrial revolution

Proposals to boost UK manufacturing have been unveiled. The ‘Made Smarter Review’ has been published ahead of its launch at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry this morning. The government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper (launched in January) identified industrial digitalisation as one of the five early sector deals, along with 3D printing, augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. For the full story please read the bulletin below which was issued by Insider News Media today.

Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 30th October 2017



Proposals to boost UK manufacturing unveiled

Proposals to boost the UK’s manufacturing sector, which include using advanced digital technologies such as robotics, 3D printing, augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, have been unveiled.

The Made Smarter Review, previously referred to as the Industrialisation Digitalisation Review, has been published ahead of its launch at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry this morning (Monday, 30 October 2017). It has been chaired by Professor Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK & Ireland.

The government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, launched in January, identified industrial digitalisation as one of five potential early sector deals and the review kick-started work with stakeholders to identify opportunities for how government and industry can work together.

The review brings together input and recommendations from more than 200 stakeholders, including companies such as Rolls Royce, GKN, IBM, and Accenture. It incorporates contributions from small- and medium-sized enterprises such as Yamazaki Mazak and Vertizan as well as academic institutions including the University of Newcastle and the University of Cambridge. R&D centres of excellence the Digital Catapult and High Value Manufacturing Catapult also co-designed the proposals. 

Professor Maier said: “The business and academic community has set out a vision for much greater ambition needed for Britain to be a world leader in the fourth industrial revolution. Industry is committed to working in partnership with government, and this combined package of measures will boost UK growth and productivity in manufacturing and provide more exports and increased earning potential, which our economy desperately needs.”

The Industrial Digitalisation Review considers three key themes – adoption, innovation and leadership. The proposals include:

Adoption. Government and industry should create a significantly more visible and effective ecosystem that will accelerate the innovation and diffusion of industrial digital technologies. This includes a National Adoption Programme piloted in the North West, focused on increasing capacity of existing growth hubs and providing more targeted support. Additionally, the review recommends upskilling 1 million industrial workers to enable digital technologies to be deployed and successfully exploited through a Single Industrial Digitalisation Skills Strategy.

Innovation. Refocus the existing landscape by increasing capacity and capability through creating 12 ‘Digital Innovation Hubs’, eight large-scale demonstrators and five digital research centres focused on developing new technologies as part of a new National Innovation Programme. 

Leadership. Establish a national body, the Made Smarter UK (MSUK) Commission comprising industry, government, academia, further education and research and innovation organisations, which would be responsible for developing the UK as a leader in industrial digitalisation technologies and skills. This would have has a mandate to develop the UK’s own national Industry 4.0 domestic and global brand.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “The UK manufacturing sector has the potential to be a global leader in the industrial digital technology revolution. Government and industry must work together to seize the opportunities that exist in this sector and promote the benefits of adopting emerging digital technologies, as well as cutting edge business models.

“I welcome the Made Smarter report that has been published today and thank Juergen and the reviewers for their work in outlining the huge potential digitalisation offers to this important sector. I look forward to working closely with industry to secure an industrial digitalisation sector deal.”