3 August 2022

Smart manufacturing in Northern Ireland given catapult boost

Digital Catapult begins five-year journey to develop Smart Manufacturing in Northern Ireland.

© lenny Kuhne/Unsplash

Manufacturing companies from across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are being invited to take part in a series of fully funded workshops to introduce technologies, tools and techniques of Industry 4.0 in their workplace.  

The FutureScope Smart Manufacturing Experiment is the first step in a five-year journey by local nano technology consortium, Smart Nano NI, to further the development of smart manufacturing in Northern Ireland. The initiative is being delivered by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, as part of the consortium. 

Participants in Experiment will be able to access a series of free learning sessions to enable them to identify challenges and opportunities affecting their businesses, and gain the necessary skills to work towards the creation of a proposal for a prototype smart technologies solution. 

The programme is funded by a government awarded to Smart Nano NI by the UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places fund.

Brendan Lowry, Innovation Partner from Digital Catapult affirmed the importance of the initiative,“This is a pivotal moment for the development of smart manufacturing in Northern Ireland. With its proud manufacturing heritage, links to the UK and Europe, and a fast-growing innovation ecosystem, Northern Ireland stands out as a frontrunner to maximise the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0. 

“Experiment will help to further the process of enabling the manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland to take advantage of the substantial market opportunities offered by smart technologies, as well as the economic and environmental efficiencies which they can offer.”  

Digital Catapult is now seeking applications for the initiative from manufacturing businesses from all sectors through an open call which will run until 13 September.  Applications are open to manufacturers at an early stage in their smart manufacturing journey or those keen to find out more about smart technologies and their uses.

Over the 12-week Experiment programme, participants will learn about the basic principles and functionality of cutting-edge smart technologies such as nanotechnology, blockchain, 5G and augmented reality, as well as their use cases and market potential.

Expert technologists from Digital Catapult and Smart Nano NI will support participants with feedback on feasibility and practical requirements to ensure graduates' outcomes are targeted and actionable.

To apply for a free place on FutureScope Smart Manufacturing Experiment and to register interest click here.

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