Made Smarter Innovation Network

From 2020 to 2025, Innovate UK Business Connect will be working on behalf of UKRI to join communities together to transform UK manufacturing. Join the Made Smarter Innovation Network and help us drive positive change.

Transforming UK manufacturing

From 2020 to 2025, Innovate UK Business Connect will be working on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to join communities together to transform UK manufacturing. Join our community and help us drive positive change.

The 2017 Made Smarter UK review stated that “the positive impact of faster innovation and adoption of IDTs could be as much as £455 billion for UK manufacturing over the next decade, increasing manufacturing sector growth between 1.5 and 3 percent per annum, creating a conservative estimated net gain of 175,000 jobs throughout the economy”.

The £300 million partnership between government and industry is aiming to create a fully connected, dynamic manufacturing ecosystem inspiring innovation across academia, technology providers and manufacturers. Made Smarter Innovation is delivered by UK Research and Innovation.

Uniting UK digital innovation talent with British manufacturing

Digital technologies are transforming how we make and deliver products better, faster, and cheaper, pointing the UK's digital strengths toward our world-leading manufacturers can help them compete globally at pace. The Made Smarter Innovation programme is investing £147m to accelerate the development of game-changing, digital manufacturing ideas.

How we will support you

From those that fast-track digital development to those centred around building a community, discover our variety of support initiatives. You’re certain to find one that meets your project’s needs.
  • Made Smarter Research Centres are a key component of the UK’s approach to the commercialisation of emerging technologies through creating early-stage, transformative innovation ideas, covering both technological and societal aspects.

    So we’re creating a number of specific, targeted research centres to drive growth, focus and engagement across innovation. Find more information on our Made Smarter Research Centres.

  • Made Smarter Innovation Hubs are fully funded test beds, living labs and other development environments. Their purpose is to drive innovation by enabling the testing of digital solutions.

    The Digital Supply-Chain Innovation Hub (DSCIH) will establish and nurture an ecosystem that connects expertise from supply-chain experts in many of the UKs most important manufacturing industries with technology providers, research organisations and academics to improve their competitiveness, resilience, productivity, and sustainability. It will combine >£10m in private co-investment with £10m in public funding over 4 years to accelerate commercial integration of industrial digital technologies by a wide range of UK manufacturing supply-chains.

    The Smart Manufacturing Data Hub (SMDH) supports small and medium-sized manufacturers to become more competitive by harnessing the power of data. Digital solutions, expert guidance and funding are available to companies through the hub, allowing them to explore and evaluate their processes, make operational savings, de-risk investments and become more digital savvy.

  • Technology Accelerator
    Sustainability Accelerator

    The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a national programme, set to shape the technology innovation for the manufacturing sector.

    Working with both manufacturers and innovative UK startups and scaleups, the programme will see leading innovators develop technology prototypes that will pivot some of the UK’s most prevalent manufacturing challenges.

    Learn more about Technology Accelerator success stories.

    The Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator is a national programme, designed to enable UK manufacturers to fast forward their adoption of digital solutions that deliver resource efficiency and energy efficiency (REEE).

    Funded by the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and Innovate UK, the programme is led and delivered by Digital Catapult, designed to accelerate sustainable manufacturing and leverage cutting-edge technologies to drive environmental impact.

    As part of the programme, leading UK manufacturers will work alongside the UK’s pioneering ecosystem of technology innovators to deliver solutions that provide real world benefits to UK manufacturing, speeding up our route to achieving net zero.

    By joining this programme, participants will get the opportunity to be at the forefront of driving digital innovation and helping to transform the UK manufacturing industry into a sustainable powerhouse.

    Learn more about the Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator.

  • This is a series of funding calls that invites and encourages powerful collaborations to submit funding applications for joint project work.

    These can unite partners of all sizes, with various skill sets. For instance, they can span technology development organisations working in the likes of additive manufacturing and machine learning, and manufacturing businesses in sectors such as pharmaceutical, food production, aerospace, and textiles.

    Read more information about those who have been awarded collaborative R&D projects.

  • Cross-sector collaboration opportunities spur creativity and are necessary to find solutions to problems.

    So we’re building them by bringing together stakeholders, industry and partners within the Made Smarter Innovation Network.

    This will form a vibrant, cohesive and growing community of industrial digital technology (IDT) providers, developers and users to connect the UK manufacturing ecosystem.


Smart Factory Expo

Join us at Smart Factory Expo for a celebration of the Made Smarter Innovation programme’s impact on UK manufacturing.

Register now

Case studies

Discover how digital technologies and UK innovation can accelerate British manufacturing.



The ARGUS project investigated how digital technology could be used to test for microbial contamination.

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Integrated carbon and productivity end-to-end supply chain management.

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Trace Connected


Trace Connected

A Digitally Connected Food Supply Chain to Deliver Transparency, Sustainability & Efficiency.

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Empowering the NHS advanced therapies ordering prototype IT system with Manufacturing insight from an electronic batch manufacturing system.

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Our Partners

Our Experts

Related Opportunities

Women in Innovation Awards 2024/25

Opens: 13/05/2024   Closes: 10/07/2024

Women within UK registered SMEs can apply for a share of up to £4m; each winner gets a £75k grant and bespoke business support.

More Information

Made Smarter Investment Readiness Programme

Opens: 07/06/2024   Closes: 07/07/2024

For companies developing cleantech solutions for UK manufacturing, aiming to increase their investment readiness and accelerate business growth.

More Information

Harnessing Digital Supply Chains for Real-World Impact

Opens: 17/06/2024   Closes: 29/07/2024

Aiming to demonstrate real business value using real-world data from national supply chain testbeds in food, hydrogen and spare parts.

More Information

Related Events and Recordings


Exploring AI Business Opportunities in Manufacturing

10.30 - 12.00 | Online

Watch now

Webinar series: Transforming supply chains with AI

10.00 - 11.00 GMT | Online

Watch now
See all events

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Empowering innovation, diversity and shaping the future of UK manufacturing


Empowering innovation, diversity and shaping the future of UK manufacturing

A recap of Made Smarter Innovation Network’s impactful journey.

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Innovation Alley: a great place to test your digital technology product


Innovation Alley: a great place to test your digital technology product

Running through the heart of Smart Factory Expo, Made Smarter Innovation Alley is home, each year, to 50 of the UK’s most disruptive, innovative technology companies in the manufacturing sector.

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