The aim of the HVM Catapult Made Smarter Smart Factory Innovation Hubs pilot will be to allow businesses to test quick-fire projects and early-stage technologies in a safe, industry-like environment with expert support.

The Made Smarter offering, delivered by the HVM (High Value Manufacturing) Catapult, will consist of sixteen physical and virtual hubs, giving businesses from sectors like food and drink, pharmaceuticals or aerospace an opportunity to see how they can address live business problems using industrial digital technologies.

Each Smart Factory Innovation Hub will offer:

  • Sandpit environment for businesses to innovate, develop and de-risk rapidly configurable projects and industrial digital technologies before they are deployed in their own facilities
  • Technology testbed: a ‘plug and play’ space for manufacturing technology providers to test, develop and showcase their solutions on industry use cases. The technology testbed will use the HVM Catapult’s world-class equipment and facilities, and allow providers to test and iterate minimal viable products
  • Demonstrators of integrated technology solutions where businesses can experience new technologies. The Innovation Hubs will showcase real industry use-cases and facilitate live-learning in an expert environment

The Innovation Hubs pilot will come at no cost for participating companies. The funding was awarded by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The HVM Catapult Made Smarter Smart Factory Innovation Hubs pilot will cover the technology areas of Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things, Robotics & Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Data Analytics.

Chris Courtney, Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge Director, said; “Digital technologies have the power to radically transform how we manufacture and deliver the products and services of today and the future. This is more vital than ever given the current challenges of the pandemic and climate change and there are enormous opportunities to innovate across all manufacturing sectors. We have world leading industries, a powerful scientific and research community, a vibrant technology sector and these innovation hubs are being designed to bring that powerful coalition together.”

To get involved, visit www.hvm.catapult.org.uk/innovation-hubs.

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