What is Made Smarter Technology Accelerator?

A national programme designed to advance the innovation and understanding of digital technology for the UK’s manufacturing sector.

About the acceleration programme

We know the advancement and adoption of technology holds huge potential for manufacturers and the industrial sector, but understand it can feel like a lengthy and costly process. Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a national acceleration programme, set to fast forward and shape the UK’s technology solutions directly into industry.

The programme is designed for industry and made real by innovators: As a community of manufacturers and innovators, the programme will speed up the understanding of technology innovation and unlock the known benefits technology adoption has for the UK economy. It provides you with a direct opportunity to join the UK’s largest industry-focused acceleration programme. Together we will help to drive innovation and digitalisation of the sector whilst gaining a competitive edge.

As part of the national Made Smarter movement, we’ll work with both leading UK manufacturers and industrial companies along with the UK’s pioneering digital technology innovation community to develop cutting-edge technology prototypes and solutions to many of the UK’s core manufacturing challenges.


Setting real-world challenges

Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a match-funded programme for medium and large industrial companies who will be part of a select group at the forefront of digital innovation. This group of leading manufacturers will help to define the scope of challenges and be directly involved in the programme, the outputs of which will generate a direct impact on achieving a competitive edge for business.

Developing pivotal prototypes

The UK’s technology and digital startup ecosystem is the strongest in Europe, with London being one of the leading global tech hubs in the world. The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator programme is made real by these UK technology startups. We’ll provide up to 20 teams with up to £20,000 funding and a platform to grow, as we develop prototypes that will pivot some of the UK’s most relevant manufacturing and industrial challenges.

Minimum viable product development

On successful completion of phase one and the development of prototypes, the programme will select at least two teams for further funding, offering £100,000 each to develop their solution into minimum viable products. These solutions will be presented and pitched at the final Showcase, currently scheduled for the end of 2021.

Based on five themes

Through the existing work and research with Made Smarter the programme works towards five themes:

  • Intelligent factory/site management and control
  • Intelligent product verification and validation
  • Transparent and data-driven procurement
  • Digitally enabled factory/site workforce
  • Resource measurement and analytics

Challenges will sit within one of these five themes as well as a clear demonstration of scalability, innovation, sound business case and impact on the manufacturing industry in the UK.

With known impacts
These five themes and the outputs of the programme will have the following impacts for business and the wider industry with the potential to lead the way toward innovation by the manufacturing sector and into wider industry settings.

  • Optimising manufacturing operations
  • Creating trusted and resilient supply chains
  • Delivering higher quality with lower waste
  • Generating new revenue opportunities
  • Encouraging more sustainable business
  • Improving factory/site productivity

Programme benefits

With manufacturing at our core, the programme provides a range of mutually beneficial opportunities for your business:

Backed by industry

We’re about the ground-level, backed by our Industry Challenge Owners, the programme is led and shaped by industry

Real-world challenges

Based on our insights and expertise, we’ve designed the programme to enable innovators to develop solutions to real-world industrial challenges

Prototype and MVP funding

Leading startups will be provided with up to £20k to develop challenge focused proof-of-concept prototypes. With a further £100k for up to four teams to develop minimum viable products (MVP)

Future focused

We seek to unlock and accelerate UK innovation, adopting advanced digital technologies for the UK manufacturing and industrial sector

Peer to peer learning

From manufacturers to startups we form peer-to-peer interactions and learnings at every level of the programme

Technology and industry expertise

Access to a support network of industry and technology experts, to help develop impactful yet achievable outputs

Impactful events

Participation in our specialised events, showcase experiences, plus networking opportunities with challenge owners and the startups involved

Mentorship and focused workshops

The startup cohort gain access to investment mentorship, workshops and support, to become investment-ready with well-defined and relevant manufacturing targeted solutions

Made Smarter

The programme offers marketing association and recognition, being at the forefront of industry innovation

Part of the Made Smarter movement

The Made Smarter wider mission is to inspire the new industrial revolution and support the vision of making the UK a global industrial leader by 2030, creating and exporting advanced digital technologies to shape how the world does business. We believe the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator sits at the heart of this mission.

Made Smarter is a national movement to drive growth amongst UK makers and advance the UK economy. Backed by world-renowned businesses and the UK government, it will improve the development and adoption of emerging technologies. Making a real, everyday difference to people from the boardroom to the factory floor.

Made Smarter was formed following a nationwide review into UK manufacturing that recommended three key changes: More ambitious leadership. More innovation in developing new technologies. And faster implementation and adoption of those technologies. We’ll be boosting the digital skills of industry leaders, bringing businesses and research development together to develop new technology and helping makers embrace new digital tools. In doing so, we’ll inspire the next industrial revolution and make the UK a leader in
digital technologies.

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