The Made Smarter Review outlines there is £455 billion value-add into the UK economy by adopting industrial digital technologies – increasing manufacturing sector growth between 1.5-3% per annum, with a 25% improvement in productivity and a 4.5% reduction in greenhouse gases.

UK manufacturers and industrial companies often struggle to innovate with digital technologies. If they do invest, it is typically a long decision-making process as these investments cut into their low profit margins, require greater hybrid skills to manage them and often don’t fit into established product life-cycles, which can be seven times higher than the average lifetime of a digital product development time.

The UK manufacturing sector will need to shift in order to keep its competitiveness on the international market and better integrate with the digital sector.

The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator exists to support and drive forward this shift and is set to fast forward and shape the UK’s technology adoption directly into industry.

Designed for industry, the programme will speed up the understanding and unlock the known benefits technology adoption has for the UK economy. The programme is made real as our technology innovators join the programme and develop prototypes that will pivot some of the UK’s most relevant manufacturing and industrial challenges.


Made real by innovators

Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a unique opportunity for startups to join the largest manufacturing-focused UK acceleration programme. A practical, 12 month industry-led programme aimed to develop industry-focused prototypes and minimal viable products for some of the UK’s leading manufacturers and industrial companies.

Intensifying the market of digital innovators will drive multiple outcomes for the manufacturing sector; to aid recovery, improved productivity, increased market capitalisation, export growth and accelerating sectors towards industrial net-zero Part of the national Made Smarter movement, the technology accelerator will welcome leading startups from across the digital technology stack, to respond to real industrial challenges set directly by industry.

What’s involved

Successful applications will tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing the UK industrial sector. Over the course of the programme you will work closely with industry leaders seeking novel services and products that address challenges within five themes:

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

The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator has two stages for successful applications. The first stage is a rapid 12-week prototyping exercise with up to £20,000 funding for each team. After the prototype presentation and a rigorous review, up to three successful teams will be invited to join a five month minimum viable product development stage, receiving up to £100,000 further funding to develop minimal viable products.

Considerations for applicants

Startups and scaleups, registered in the UK, who are in the process of developing new digital products and services, leveraging cutting-edge technologies and interested in working with leading manufacturers.

Technologies relevant to this open call are:

  • Future networks and advanced digital infrastructure (5G and the internet of things including; low powered wide area networks, NB-IoT, LIFI etc. including sensors, edge devices, wearables etc.) 
  • Immersive technologies – Extended reality (virtual, augmented, mixed reality and haptics)
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning (natural language processing, machine vision, deep learning) 
  • Distributed ledger technologies (Blockchain etc.)

The main focus for applicants should be on creating ideas and developing an approach for how you would solve industrial challenges, and demonstrate your experience and capability in solving these.

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