innovation

South Yorkshire Innovation District announces ‘Innovation Challenge’

A pioneering initiative is underway as the South Yorkshire Innovation District, in collaboration with industry leaders, announces the start of a pilot ‘Innovation Challenge’ aimed at transforming manufacturing practices through the practical application of regional innovation capabilities. 

This joint effort, supported by the business community, South Yorkshire Innovation District, Four Jaw Analytics, and Made Smarter, boasts a collaboration with prominent industry partners including Gripple, AESSEAL, PEP GB, Amodo and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The initiative underscores a collective commitment to foster innovation-led growth and tackle challenges faced by manufacturing SMEs in South Yorkshire. Originating from the Innovation District Business Network established in 2022, the initiative aims to drive a more prosperous regional economic outlook by facilitating practical solutions and access to new opportunities.

The Innovation Challenge targets energy optimisation and operational efficiency improvement within participating SMEs. Companies such as Arden Winch, Charles Day Steels, EE Ingleton, Footprint Tools, Maher, Steetley Corner, and Whites Bakery are set to benefit from Four Jaw's manufacturing analytics technology during a 3-month trial period. This solution, coupled with tech advice and peer mentoring, empowers businesses to enhance insights, reduce costs, and boost productivity.

In addition to technological support, participating SMEs will receive financial support from Made Smarter, enabling them to embark on a digital transformation journey. Made Smarter will also craft bespoke digital roadmaps for each business, paving the way for future success in an increasingly digitised and competitive landscape.

Recognising the importance of mentorship in navigating these transformative changes, the South Yorkshire Innovation District has curated a mentor programme comprising seasoned industry experts. These mentors will provide invaluable guidance and support to the leadership teams of participating SMEs, ensuring they are equipped to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the innovation challenge.

Gordon Macrae, Special Projects Manager at Gripple, commented on the initiative, stating, "We are thrilled to unveil this collaborative initiative, which exemplifies the spirit of innovation and partnership in South Yorkshire. By leveraging the expertise of industry leaders and SMEs, we aim to drive meaningful change, accelerate innovation adoption, and unlock new growth opportunities."

The Innovation Challenge will run for 12 weeks, culminating in a 'Demo Day' in May where SMEs and mentors will showcase their innovation journey and future business prospects.

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