News - 25 April 2024

The East Midlands Made Smarter Programme Marks its Two Year Milestone

Made Smarter East Midlands is marking its second birthday by celebrating its significant achievements, whilst looking ahead to making further strides to support transformation in the manufacturing landscape in our region.

Supported by D2N2 LEP, Made Smarter East Midlands has boosted innovation and provided expert support for our region’s manufacturing sector since its inception in 2022. With a focus on alleviating the everyday challenges manufacturers face through applying digital tools to resolve them, the programme has already made a huge impact on our manufacturing industry.

To date, Made Smarter East Midlands has secured £1,573,667.84 of investment in the region, providing crucial support to 226 manufacturers and awarding grants totalling £553,450.62 to drive digital transformation initiatives. This underscores the programme’s commitment to supporting businesses with the tools and resources needed to thrive in an increasingly digitised world.

According to Make UK, more than half of manufacturers (53%) are gearing up to launch new products, indicating a clear focus on innovation and market expansion throughout 2024. Similarly, 71% of manufacturers agree that digital technology is crucial and considered a key driver of productivity.

Dr Chris Owen, Programme Director for Made Smarter East Midlands, said:

“Our mission with Made Smarter East Midlands has always been clear: to equip manufacturers with the knowledge, expertise, and funding necessary to embrace digital transformation. As we reflect on our accomplishments so far, we are proud of the impact we’ve had on businesses throughout the region and look forward to the impact we can have on the industry over the coming 12 months.

“Our partnership with industry-leading organisations such as the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Oxford Innovation, and Loughborough University underscores our commitment to delivering world-class support to manufacturers.”

The programme’s comprehensive approach encompasses various elements tailored to the needs of manufacturing SMEs, and micro businesses. From fully-funded digital road mapping to leadership development and grant funding, Made Smarter East Midlands offers a holistic support system aimed at driving sustainable growth and innovation.

Looking to the future, it was recently announced that Made Smarter East Midlands would be expanded and extended out to 2029. Made Smarter is poised to help deliver even greater innovation and growth within the region, emphasising the importance of digital adoption to elevate manufacturing in micro and larger SME Manufacturers across the East Midlands and boost their productivity.

Made Smarter East Midlands is a pioneering initiative dedicated to accelerating digital transformation within the manufacturing sector. Led by Greater Lincolnshire LEP in collaboration with D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, Leicester & Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the programme provides vital support to small, medium and micro-sized manufacturers, supporting them to thrive in the digital age.

Find out more about the Made Smarter East Midlands programme

D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) covers the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire region, convening the businesses, universities, colleges and local authorities in our region to drive low carbon, economic growth and productivity, skills & careers, inclusion and delivery excellence. The D2N2 LEP team and functions will transition into the East Midlands Combined County Authority during 2024.

For media enquiries, contact:

Nicola Swaney

Head of External Affairs, D2N2 LEP

Nicola.Swaney@d2n2lep.org

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