The programme was designed before the COVID-19 outbreak and is delivered during the pandemic, which continues to have an impact on the manufacturing sector. The outputs and impact of the programme present an opportunity to boost the UK economy and aid recovery. As we also work to set challenges faced by industry, there is the potential to develop challenges focused specifically on the problems that COVID-19 presents and the opportunities that technology adoption offers. Challenges will be set by Digital Catapult, UKRI and our industrial sponsors and aligned to the five themes.
Intensifying the market of digital innovators will drive multiple outcomes for the manufacturing sector; to aid the recovery, improved productivity, increased market capitalisation, export growth and accelerating sectors towards industrial net-zero.
In addition to the challenges the pandemic presents to the wider industry, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust our activities accordingly. For example, a number of our programmes are successfully adapting and being run completely online, including our showcases and events.
For startups and the innovation community in particular, Digital Catapult is aware of the business impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and knows that early stage immersive startups need our support now more than ever. The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator plans to further help startups in the following ways: