Posted on: 11/05/2023
Made Smarter Innovation - Innovation Alley

Smart Factory Expo 2023 has a new home this year for Manufacturing and Engineering Week at the NEC, Birmingham from 7th to 8th June 2023.

This year, Innovate UK KTN, Innovate UK Edge, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (with all of its seven centres) and Made Smarter Innovation have come together to deliver 3 core aspects of the show; the Innovation Village, the Innovation Stage and Made Smarter Innovation Alley.

A Festival of Innovation at the Innovation Village

Showcasing leading edge innovation in low-carbon advanced manufacturing, the Innovation Village and Innovation Stage will feature companies supported by Innovate UK, investment support and funding opportunities, as well as a series of speakers who are leaders in their industry.

On the Innovation Stage, visitors can hear from inspirational speakers and partners championing and demonstrating innovation in low-carbon advanced manufacturing: from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s (AMRC) open-access smart factory framework, Factory+, to the National Composite Centre’s (NCC) certification by analysis project. Apprentices from the HVM Catapult network will also talk about their careers and aspirations.

Meet the Alley Cats

A regular feature at the heart of Smart Factory Expo, Made Smarter Innovation Alley will be back once again this year, showcasing some of the UK’s leading edge digital technology start-ups and scale-ups. These exciting, disruptive companies are ones to watch in the digital manufacturing space and will likely change the sector landscape over the next 5-10 years.

Funded by Innovate UK and supported by Innovate UK KTN, Made Smarter Innovation Alley will feature no less than 30 game-changing innovators in the digital manufacturing space, each of which is younger than 5 years old or employs less than 10 members of staff.

Confirmed Innovation Alley exhibitors to-date include:

  • Sensor IT
  • E-Nano
  • TrackMyMachines
  • Veribli
  • FC Labs
  • Clyde HSI
  • Iov42
  • SMSTech
  • Emerging Data Technologies
  • CUEInterative
  • DataFlowIQ

If you’re going to be at Smart Factory Expo 2023, make sure you call in on Innovation Alley and see some of the amazing solutions on show first hand.

There are still a handful of spots left on this year’s Made Smarter Innovation Alley and one of them could be yours if you act swiftly.

What do companies receive?

  • An Innovation Alley pod for 2 days (with full support to get your business registered on the exhibitor portal).
  • An invite to give a 1-minute pitch in the Innovation Theatre within the Innovation Village to a select audience of interested individuals and an exclusive invite to an evening networking event.
  • Access to expert training to support companies with engagement and making connections at the event.
  • Support from Innovate UK KTN over the 2 days of the show with introductions and potential collaboration opportunities.
  • Invite to join the Made Smarter Innovation Alley Alumni after the show and access a wealth of support and opportunities after the event.

Why should companies apply?

  • Reach the right audiences and build relationships with potential customers (over 5,000 manufacturers attend Smart Factory Expo every year). Attendees at Design and Engineering Expo, Drives and Controls and Maintec will also be invited to visit the Smart Factory Expo Zone this year raising the audience to 8,000 attendees.
  • Build partnerships that can make your digital technology solutions much more appealing to larger manufacturing customers
  • A fantastic opportunity to market test new ideas and solutions with the people who would be using them

To be eligible companies must:

  • Be less than 5 years old OR have less than 10 staff
  • Be based in the UK
  • Have an innovative product/service targeted at manufacturers
  • Not have previously exhibited on Made Smarter Innovation Alley in the past


* It’s free to participate in this fantastic opportunity (funded and supported by Innovate UK and partners)

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