WHY A DIGITAL MANUFACTURING WORKING GROUP?
The UK Manufacturing sector employs 2.6m people and contributes 70% to business R&D making the UK the 8th biggest manufacturing economy in the world. In 2016 alone, manufacturing was worth £168bn and contributed to 50% of UK exports.
The importance of the manufacturing sector to UKPLC both now and looking to the future has been borne out in the government industrial strategy and recent ‘Made Smarter’ review. Made Smarter’s findings demonstrate that the early adoption of advanced digital technologies by the UK manufacturing sector has the potential to grow the UK economy by £455bn, create 175,000 new jobs, increase productivity and cut CO2 emissions over the next 10 years.
The UK is a leader in research and innovation in the manufacturing sector and has started to establish a support infrastructure to develop and commercialise technology. However, these innovation assets are under-leveraged and not focused enough on supporting industrial digital technology start-ups, meaning the UK is falling behind in creating new innovative companies in the manufacturing sector.
PLANNED ACTIVITY FOR 2018
- Build an initial group of up to 10 technology companies currently working in the manufacturing sector
- Launch the Digital Manufacturing working group with a kick off hosted at the Digital Catapult on 26th April followed by semi-regular meetups
- Develop a detailed definition of ‘digital manufacturing’ with supporting case studies for publication