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‘Ground-breaking’ programme will help UK businesses to adopt industry 4.0

13 August, 2019

Siemens Digital Industries has joined forces with the analytics specialist Atos and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree Centre, to launch a “ground-breaking” Industrial Digitalisation Accelerator (IDA) programme that will offer UK businesses of all sizes a practical, collaborative space in which to explore Industry 4.0 technologies. They claim it is the first time that experts in the fields of IoT, analytics and computing have come together to help industry to discover new pathways to growth.

The program will give companies the chance to produce proof-of-concepts, mentor them to acquire Industry 4.0 technologies such as big data analytics, IoT, modelling, simulation and sensor technology, and give them the opportunity to develop end-to-end digital systems. The IDA will also guide firms to funding programmes such as Innovate and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The Industry 4.0 collaboration space will be based at the Hartree Centre, which provides collaborative research, innovation and development services to accelerate the adoption by UK industry of high-performance computing, big data analytics and AI technologies. It is backed by more than £170m of government funding.

“Staying competitive in the evolving technology landscape isn’t easy, yet the opportunity to drive productivity has never been greater,” says Brian Holliday, a member of Siemens’ executive management board and managing director of Siemens Digital Industries. “By harnessing the combined power of these three partners, the IDA has a mandate to do just this – increase industrial productivity providing new pathways to growth. We aim to cut through the noise to help businesses overcome their own digitalisation challenges and realise the opportunities presented within Industry 4.0.”

The IDA aims to address many of the challenges set out in the Made Smarter Review, including:

•  upskilling the UK workforce in high-demand digital areas;

•  creating a thriving high-value manufacturing environment;

Holliday: aiming to cut through the noise

•  building demonstrators to prove the art of the possible to UK businesses

•  providing access to industrial digital technologies for UK manufacturers; and

•  improving UK productivity levels.

The Made Smarter Review estimated that if successfully implemented, such measures could add £455bn to UK GDP within ten years.

•  In a separate initiative, Siemens has teamed up with Festo and a group of UK universities to offer a new academic teaching programme, called Connected Curriculum, linked to Industry 4.0 and the industrial IoT. At the heart of the curriculum is Siemens’ industrial software portfolio and MindSphere cloud-based IoT platform. Festo will act as a delivery partner. Universities already signed up for the initiative include Sheffield, Liverpool John Moores, Middlesex, Newcastle and Manchester Metropolitan. It will bring advanced industrial tools, data and approaches to their apprenticeship, undergraduate and masters courses. The new programme comes 18 months after Siemens launched its MindSphere Innovation Network (MINe), in partnership with higher education providers. The MINe programme has already engaged with more than 50 businesses on more than 20 projects.

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