Making Welsh Manufacturing Smarter: Apply for Funding


Welsh businesses can apply for a share of £30 million UK Government funding to support projects that use digital technology to improve the productivity and agility of UK manufacturing.

Welsh Manufacturing

Industrial digital technologies driven by artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things have the potential to significantly increase the productivity of UK manufacturing.

The Made Smarter Review 2017 commissioned by the UK government estimated that industrial digitalisation could increase productivity by more than 25%.

The UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge aims to raise productivity by 30% by 2030 by investing in projects that support industrial digitalisation.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) has up to £30 million to invest in projects that use industrial digital technologies to transform manufacturing productivity.

Projects must aim for short-term impact

The competition aims to support projects that can achieve short-term impact and rapid technology development through industrial digitalisation across a range of sectors from aerospace to food and drink and pharma.

Projects can be led by any sector but must show how they could be applied to at least 2 other sectors.

They should fit into one of 4 themes:

  • smart, connected factory, including use of real-time data to optimise efficiency and capture, analysis and visualisation of manufacturing processes
  • connected and versatile supply chain, including information integration, communication, traceability and trust
  • design, make, test, including transforming product design through digital technologies and virtual product testing, verification and modelling, quality monitoring and inspection
  • adaptable flexible manufacturing operations and skills, including culture change and skills development, and human-centric automation and autonomy

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 21 August 2019
  • businesses of any size may apply
  • projects are expected to range in size between £250,000 and £10 million