An independent report published by the UK Government highlighting the benefits of robotics, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence has claimed that advanced digital technology could give the UK manufacturing industry a huge boost and create hundreds and thousands of jobs.
By the same token, the UK has been warned that it needed “greater ambition” to take advantage of such technology, while a huge number of workers would need to be retrained.
The recommendations by the Made Smarter Review will help inform the government’s industrial strategy plans. It proposed that there ought to be more targeted support for companies, re-skilling workers, and a national adoption programme to improve innovation and capability.
A national commission has been set up and charged with turning the UK into a global leader of industrial digital technologies and to compete with China, the USA, and much of Europe where there are already advanced plans to embrace the fourth industrial revolution.
Nevertheless, there is still much to be done for the UK to catch up with international competitors. Smaller businesses that are growing in scale, especially industrial companies, need support and to learn how digitalisation can help their business grow.
The industrial digitalisation review considers three key themes – adoption, innovation, and leadership. The recommendations will be considered by the government and used to inform work towards a sector deal between government and industry.
Meanwhile, the government’s industrial strategy green paper, launched in January 2017, identified industrial digitalisation as one of five potential early sector deals and the review began work with stakeholders to identify opportunities for how government and industry can work together.
SMEs, in particular, are said to have the most opportunity of being versatile and embracing change to ensure better leadership and culture change on innovation.
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