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Department for Business and Trade Officials Visit West Midlands Manufacturers Benefiting from Digital Adoption Scheme

by Anna

Officials from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) recently conducted visits to two manufacturing businesses in the West Midlands to assess the tangible impact of the Made Smarter West Midlands scheme. Led by the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, the initiative has been aiding small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing and engineering sector to embrace digital technology, enhance skills, and drive growth.

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Established as a pilot program in 2021, the Made Smarter West Midlands scheme has been spearheaded by Growth Hubs in Worcestershire, The Marches, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire, and Coventry and Warwickshire. Working in collaboration with Business Growth West Midlands, the West Midlands Combined Authority, and the Department for Business and Trade, the program provides match-funded grant funding and expert support from WMG at the University of Warwick and the MTC.

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Between April 2021 and November 2023, the program received 560 registrations from businesses in the West Midlands, leading to the awarding of 115 grants valued at £1.94 million from April 2021 to October 2023.

A senior policy team from the Department for Business and Trade, headed by Deputy Director Michael Clark, visited Impression Technologies in Coventry and Brandauer in Birmingham. Both companies have benefited from the Made Smarter West Midlands scheme, receiving grants and comprehensive digital roadmaps to enhance their operations.

Impression Technologies, specializing in advanced aluminum lightweighting technology, utilized the grant to invest in a system that enhances data analysis capabilities. On the other hand, Brandauer, a provider of precision-stamped components globally, introduced a system for generating real-time operational data.

Michael Clark commented on the visit, expressing excitement about meeting with leading manufacturing businesses in the West Midlands. He highlighted the significance of the Made Smarter Adoption program in the government’s Advanced Manufacturing Plan (AMP) to establish the UK as the premier location for starting and growing manufacturing businesses.

Craig Humphrey, Chief Executive at Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, emphasized the program’s success in the region over nearly three years. He highlighted the positive impact on operations and appreciated the valuable insights gained from Impression Technologies and Brandauer, affirming the program’s ongoing positive impact on the region and beyond.

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