SMALL and medium sized manufacturers (SMEs) in Oldham looking to understand more about how digital tools can boost their business are being urged to attend a free event in Blackburn.

Run by Made Smarter, it will provide practical advice and tools to help manufacturers take the first steps on transforming their business by helping them to develop a digital roadmap.

They will hear real life examples of how other businesses have applied new technology, the challenges they overcame and the benefits they are now seeing.

Business leaders can join roundtable sessions, facilitated by industry experts, which focus on specific barriers to adopting new digital technology and overcoming them. The round tables will explore skills, leadership, finance and culture.

Dozens of business leaders have already signed up for the event, Powering your Manufacturing through Digital Transformation, on the morning of September 11.

Leading the event will be Made Smarter Programme Manager Alain Dilworth.

He said: “Digital tools can increase profit, reduce inefficiencies, open new markets and provide greater insight for business leaders, but it can be confusing to know what will help your business the most.

"We hear a lot about industry 4.0 technology but our experience of working with North West SMEs tells us that people struggle to know where to start. This event aims to help North West SME manufacturers understand more about digital transformation, provide practical tools to help them take the first steps of their digital journey.

"Lancashire was at the very heart of the first industrial revolution and remains home to hundreds of high-quality engineering, automotive, aerospace, food production and other manufacturing businesses.

“I would urge businesses at the start of their journey to come along and speak to the Made Smarter team.”

Made Smarter supports manufacturers to digitise and innovate through grant funding, fully funded specialist technology advice and leadership and skills development.

The Made Smarter team will be on hand to facilitate one-to-one conversations with business leaders about their business needs and the options available. This includes finding out more about how to qualify for free advice and funding support to help with the adoption of new, smarter production methods such as robotics and automation, additive manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IOT), 3D-printing, the use of ‘big’ data and the latest design software.

Places for the Powering your Manufacturing through Digital Transformation session are free but limited and registration is essential.

More information and details of how to book can be found at

Any company interested in the Made Smarter business support programme can find out more at


Editors notes:

Speakers, who will share some of their case studies and examples, include:

• Dr Steven Barr and Ravi Gidoomal from Edge Digital, a consultancy dedicated to enabling businesses to gain maximum value from digital technology.

• Mark Prince, Chairman of Nucroft, a consultancy which works with manufacturers on new business strategies.

Industry experts on the roundtables include:

• Philippa Glover, Managing Director, CNC Robotics

• Phil Hargreaves, Head of Access 2 Finance

• Pete Cornwall, Business Liaison Officer, Lancaster University

• Sarah Dhanda, Head of Employer Engagement and Partnerships, Semta

For all Made Smarter media enquiries contact Stuart Greer, Melanie Antao Fernandes or Andrew Spinoza at SKV Communications on 0161 838 7770 or email, or

About Made Smarter -

• The Made Smarter North West Pilot is a £20 million investment between government and industry. It includes match funding opportunities and the provision of dedicated technical and business support for SMEs

• It will identify the most effective ways to engage manufacturers in the North West and encourage them to adopt industrial digital technology through high quality, fully funded advice and support services

• Through engagement with over 3,000 manufacturing SMEs, it aims to increase regional GVA by up to £115M

• Up to 600 North West firms will also qualify for more intense support, including potential grant funding

• It will be delivered through the region’s five Local Enterprise Partnerships and their network of Growth Hubs

• It is a generational opportunity for North West Manufacturing to anchor and advance high value manufacturing in the UK

• It is public-private partnership between government and industry, overseen by the Made Smarter Commission.