Whitecap Consulting, the regional strategy consulting firm, has been appointed by the UK authority in advanced digital technology – Digital Catapult – to provide national support for its recently launched Made Smarter Technology Accelerator.

The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a national programme, focused on boosting technology innovation in the manufacturing sector. It is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, as part of the national Made Smarter movement – which aims to stimulate UK productivity through digital innovation.

Working with both industry leaders and innovative UK startups and scaleups, the programme will see leading innovators develop technology prototypes to help tackle some of the UK’s most prevalent manufacturing challenges. The established organisations providing challenges for the Accelerator include major names such as BAE Systems, Babcock International Group, Sainsbury’s, Northumbrian Water, Safran Landing Systems and GAF. The programme also has two tech sponsors, Verizon Business and Software AG.

Justin Cross, Innovation Partner at Digital Catapult, said:
“By bringing together industry titans and the brightest startup talent, the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator will help supercharge innovation in the manufacturing sector and play a vital role in enabling UK industry to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution.

“We’re pleased to have Whitecap Consulting on board, whose invaluable experience driving collaboration in high growth sectors will be an asset to the programme.”

Richard Coates, Managing Director of Whitecap Consulting, says:
“We are delighted to be working with Digital Catapult on this project. Our work across multiple high growth tech sectors around the UK means we are acutely aware of the importance of creating opportunities for collaboration between entrepreneurs and established organisations. The Made Smarter Technology Accelerator has the potential to be a significant catalyst for innovation and growth within the manufacturing sector.”

The specific assignment being undertaken by Whitecap involves evaluation of technical and market business cases set against a set of business challenges which aim to solve problems using cutting edge tech such as AI, sensors and other Industry 4.0 solutions. The project is being co-led by James Thwaites, Regional Director for the North East and Whitecap’s manufacturing practice lead, along with manufacturing, and Stefan Haase, Director and tech and innovation lead.

As part of the project, the Whitecap team will identify and evaluate key considerations such as: business problem / opportunity, benefits and disbenefits (tangible and intangible), costs and risks, technical review of the prototype, estimated timescale, expected ROI, competitor analysis, and environmental sustainability impact analysis.