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Made Smarter report cover

Government commissioned review sets out plan for fourth industrial revolution


Government commissioned review sets out plan for fourth industrial revolution


Industrial digitalisation could be worth as much as £455bn to Britain’s manufacturers and create 175,000 jobs over the next decade, according to the Made Smarter Review report published this week.

The Made Smarter Review (previously named Industrial Digitalisation) was launched in January 2017 as part of Government's Industrial Strategy announcement - setting out the aim for the UK to be a leader in Industrial Digitalisation (ID) and identifing ways to exploit the benefits of applying digital technology to the manufacturing industry, through a strong industry and government partnership.

The review report brings together, in a series of recommendations, the views and input from over 200 firms and organisations, including Rolls-Royce, Accenture, a number of SMEs, and Cambridge and Newcastle universities. During the consultation, the conversation about skills – led by Cisco UK & Ireland Chairman Phil Smith (also Chair of the Tech Partnership) -  formed a vital part of the review.

According to the report, benefits to the UK economy over the next decade could be as high as £455bn (+22%) for UK manufacturing, increasing manufacturing growth between 1.5 to 3% p/a, creating an estimated net gain of 175,000 jobs throughout the economy and reducing CO2 emissions by 4.5%. Overall, industrial productivity could be improved by greater than 25%.

In his forward to the report, review chair and Siemens UK CEO Juergen Maier said: "Our proposals don’t seek to answer every question about how we drive and embrace digitalisation. Rather, they seek to establish the institutional framework and ecosystems that will spur the next generation of domestic technological innovation."

The Industrial Digitalisation Review considers three key themes – adoption, innovation and leadership. The proposals include:

Adoption: Building a national digital ecosystem. Government and industry should create a significantly more visible and effective ecosystem that will accelerate the innovation and diffusion of Industrial Digital Technologies. This includes a National Adoption Programme piloted in the North West, focused on increasing capacity of existing growth hubs and providing more targeted support. According to the report, the pilot would increase GVA by 15 per cent over three years. It would also allow 20 start-ups to work with industry on new projects.

The Review also recommends re-skilling or up-skilling one million industrial workers over the next five years to enable digital technologies to be deployed and successfully exploited through a Single Industrial Digitalisation Skills Strategy.

Innovation: Re-focus existing landscape by increasing capacity and capability through creating 12 ‘Digital Innovation Hubs’, eight large-scale demonstrators and five digital research centres focused on developing new technologies as part of a new National Innovation Programme.

Leadership: Establish a national body, Made Smarter UK (MSUK) Commission, comprising Industry, government, academia, FE and leading research and innovation organisations, responsible for developing the UK as a leader in Industrial Digitalisation Technologies (IDT) and skills.

The recommendations will be considered by the government and used to inform work towards a sector deal between government and industry.

Click here for the full report