UK manufacturers are to have their productivity and competitiveness boosted thanks to a new data innovation hub and testbed led by Ulster University, Industry Minister Lee Rowley announced this week – and D2N2 LEP is one of a small group or organisations driving the project.
The £50 million Smart Manufacturing Data Hub (SMDH) will support small and medium size manufacturers to capture and better utilise their data, helping them increase productivity, growth and sustainability. Businesses in sectors spanning from food and drink, aerospace and many more will be supported to develop, test and adopt the latest data-driven technologies.
Nearly 10,000 manufacturers are expected to benefit from the hub and 13,000 jobs will be supported, helping to boost economic growth and level-up regions across the UK. The hub will be supported by £20 million from the UK government backed Made Smarter Innovation Programme, along with £30 million of business co-investment.