PrintCity, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Additive Manufacturing facility, and Made Smarter have collaborated on a new white paper to help SMEs in the manufacturing space adopt more modern technologies.

Made Smarter technologies: powering the digital transformation of SME manufacturers will act as a practical guide from the government-backed and industry-led technology adoption programme in the North West.

The free-to-download document hopes to inform and inspire manufacturers across Greater Manchester to explore existing technologies such as software, industrial IoT, automation and robotics, Additive Manufacturing, and cyber security while showcasing emerging digital tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twins.

Insights are provided by PrintCity which has supported over 200 SMEs in developing new products, goods and services since its launch six years ago and Made Smarter.

Made Smarter has worked closely with PrintCity delivering training for SMEs through the Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund and Leadership programmes.


Professor Carl Diver, PrintCity Director said 

“PrintCity is here to help demystify 3D printing to help boost productivity and growth within a business. “Our multidisciplinary team has cultivated a strong partnership with Made Smarter to deliver innovation workshops which demonstrate to SME manufacturers that 3D printing can introduce unprecedented efficiency, flexibility, and innovation.

“We are delighted to support this new white paper to educate and inspire technology adoption among SME manufacturers.”

The white paper also features inputs from other demonstrators including: PrintCity, The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Liverpool, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult; the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) North West, based in Samlesbury, Lancashire; and The Hartree Centre at Sci-Tech Daresbury, Cheshire.

Since 2019, Made Smarter has helped 300 manufacturers invest £22.5 million in a range of IDTs and add 1,600 new jobs and 2,850 upskilled roles, whilst boosting the economy by a reported £242 million.


Donna Edwards, Director of Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Programme said 

Made Smarter’s adoption programme is helping SME manufacturers catch up with the wealth of digital tools and technologies currently available, for them to be ready to fully embrace the next great technological leap. Over the last five years technology has shown its true colours in the form of growth, investment, employment, productivity, and a competitive advantage. The race is now on to fully capitalise on the opportunities that exist, as well as those on the horizon. Business leaders therefore need the skills, knowledge, and experience to respond to this rapid change.

“Demonstrating these technologies in action is vital to Made Smarter’s success. We are enabling people to get their hands on these technologies by connecting SME manufacturers with each other and building relationships with leading technology institutes. This way we can ensure we keep a finger on the pulse of emerging technologies to help the sector thrive and be competitive,” Edwards added. “This new white paper brings all those elements together into a useful and simple to understand guide which business leaders and digital champions can download and share with their teams. We hope it is the starting point for further conversations with the Made Smarter team.”

The full white paper is available here