Industry 4.0 could unlock £445 billion for UK

Posted on 09 Nov 2017 and read 277 times
Industry 4.0 could unlock £445 billion for UKThe UK’s manufacturing sector could unlock £455 billion over the next decade and create 175,000 new jobs by embracing the fourth industrial revolution, according to the Made Smarter review on industrial digitalisation.

Commissioned by the Government and led by Jürgen Maier (the UK and Ireland boss of German engineering giant Siemens), the review says that a collaboration between Government and industry could make Britain a global leader in new technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, augmented reality and virtual reality, giving a much-needed productivity boost and providing thousands of highly-skilled — and better-paid — jobs.

Mr Maier said: “The business and academic community has set out a vision for Britain to be a world leader in the fourth industrial revolution.

“Industry is committed to working in partnership with Government, and this combined package of measures will boost UK growth and productivity in manufacturing and provide more exports and increased earning potential, which our economy desperately needs.

“Our ‘Made Smarter’ proposals will help business understand, deploy and create the latest digital technologies, helping to secure more home-grown R&D and the creation of new industries and highly skilled jobs.

“They build on the UK’s natural technology strengths, whilst setting out a framework to encourage entrepreneurs to develop new technologies that help manufacturers.”

The 246-page review brings together input from over 200 firms and organisations, including Rolls-Royce, GKN, IBM, Accenture and Cambridge and Newcastle universities.

The Made Smarter review proposals include building a national digital ecosystem — to be piloted in the North West — that would give smaller and medium-size engineering companies the chance to experiment with new technologies and see how they might be applied in their own factories.

Government support through tax incentives and funding would also help to facilitate the process of adoption new technologies.

The review also recommends the creation of 12 digital innovation hubs, where start-ups could work with universities and established firms such as Siemens. It also calls for a new national body — the Made Smarter UK Commission.

The Government will now consider the proposals, with the aim of agreeing a sector deal with industry that is likely to involve co-investment; it is expected to publish a White Paper before Christmas.

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