Sustainable Smart Factory Research Gets £14m Funding

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced the funding of £14 million in research projects aimed at improving smart factories. The cash comes from the organisation’s most recent funding possibility, the Sustainable Smart Factory competition of the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge.

The collaborative research and development competition aimed to find and support digital innovations that would make manufacturing processes more sustainable, resulting in reducing the amount of materials or energy consumed.

“Effective digital technologies can have a substantial impact on the manufacturing sector, bringing outdated, inefficient and unproductive products and processes up the standards needed for a net zero industry of the future”; said Chris Needham, Innovation Lead in the Made Smarter Innovation Challenge.

Needham also added that it’s clear from the sheer number of applications they received regarding how far waste and energy issues extend across different industries. The successful applicants were able to demonstrate real innovation and indicated how the right use of data and technology can make a significant difference to businesses.

Projects were required to demonstrate how their data or digital technology innovation could aid optimise material usage, reduce, reuse, or separate waste materials while also lowering energy consumption in order to improve sustainability over an area of production.

In total, 12 proposals were successful, receiving between £1 million and £8 million in funding each; addressing a wide range of manufactured goods and industrial processes across various industries. This covers everything from food, automobiles, aerospace, electronics and plastics and many more engineering specialties.

A total of 55 organisations have participated in the successful projects, with each project having 2 to 10 participant organisations.


News Credits: £14 million funding for sustainable smart factory research

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