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Innovation helps transform traditional industry 

Innovation is often borne out of collaboration and the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator isn’t just testament to what can be achieved when we work together, but that real innovation doesn’t need to take years to have an impact. Ensuring the continuation of investment in projects through programmes like Made Smarter along with ongoing support to the companies that are making them happen will be absolutely fundamental to the future success of this country.

Jim Sibson
Head of Research and Partnerships for Babcock International Group

Digital Catapult’s Made Smarter Technology Accelerator, part of the Made Smarter programme, connected major manufacturing industry players with pioneering startups to develop real-world innovations tackling major challenges.

The match-funded programme helped large manufacturing businesses to recognise the benefits of working with startup technology specialists to help them with innovation, applying advanced digital technology solutions into the heart of industry to improve productivity, increase growth and export opportunities, and accelerate the UK manufacturing sector towards net zero.

From a field of 14 innovative small businesses and overall funding of nearly £700,000, the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator resulted in four startup-led minimum viable products developed in record time for BAE Systems, Babcock International Group, Northumbrian Water Group and Safran Landing Systems.

Solutions included using machine learning to detect defects to improve product quality, reduce waste and save money; a tool to reduce reliance on paper-based reporting to improve efficiency; a data-driven planning, scheduling and resource optimisation tool to tackle complex planning and resource management issues; and a cloud-enabled, remote water quality monitoring solution.

Building on the success of the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator, Digital Catapult recently launched the Made Smarter Innovation Digital Supply Chain Hub, a £25 million industry-led drive to confront critical manufacturing supply chain issues, from risk and resilience, to supply and demand imbalances. 

In addition, many of the startups that did not proceed to MVP stage continued to develop their solutions outside of the programme such as using gaming and music sector technologies to support shipbuilding engineers to collaborate on design in real time.

industry led challenge
high potential startups with £700k funding