The Made Smarter Review, published in October 2017, highlighted the challenges, opportunities and ambition to make the UK a global leader of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Invest Northern Ireland shares the aims of the report, to develop the future prosperity of our Manufacturing base and improve our productivity by 30%. This is particularly relevant for Northern Ireland as we have some of the lowest levels of productivity (typically 15% below UK average) and a broad issue of skills shortages, made worse by Brexit uncertainties and higher energy costs. Indeed, this poses questions such as what action we need to take and what sort of research, innovation, scale-up and / or demonstrators do we need for us to develop, adopt or implement new Industrial digital technologies?

Why attend?

Invest NI is holding a workshop to facilitate and encourage discussions about what we need to be doing in Northern Ireland to for us to align with and exploit the opportunities highlighted in the Made Smarter Review. The aim is to develop a vision for NI that could form part of any bid for future funding under the likes of Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

The Industrial Strategy and the challenges it highlights form an integral part of the UK Government’s ambition, to make the UK the most innovative economy in the world. The goal of the ISCF is to accelerate commercial exploitation of the most exciting technologies the UK has to offer the world to ensure that scientific investment truly delivers economic impact, jobs and growth right across the country. It is our aim is to encourage manufacturers in NI to develop their strategy of how they can benefit from Industry 4.0  and to initiate the collaborations that will enable them to access the opportunities available to them.

We hope you will be able to join us in the discussions to help shape a digital manufacturing vision for Northern Ireland.


12:30 Registration and Networking Lunch
13:00 Welcome & Introduction: Invest NI
13:10 Background to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and Made Smarter
13:30 Challenges & Opportunities for NI Manufacturing
13:40 Overview of Industry 4.0
14:00 Made Smarter NW pilot
14:20 View from the department
14:45 Coffee Break
15:00 Setting the scene – Innovate UK
15:15 Workshop
  • Session one: Discussion groups to develop a vision (15 minutes)
  • What’s the vision for Northern Ireland?
  • What are our challenges?
  • What are the opportunities?
  • What's the vision for Northern Ireland?
15:30 Present visions (15 minutes)
  • Session two: What do they need to achieve the vision? (5 mins explanation + 40 mins workshop)
  • How do we achieve our vision?
  • Delivery - Demonstrators, data centre, equipment and infrastructure
  • Network - How do we share learning, develop supply chains and solutions to exploit this technology?
  • Research and Innovation - what's needed and how is it funded?
16:30 Present visions (10 minutes)
16:40 Summary and agree next steps
17:00 Close


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Additional Details

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Invest NI HQ, Bedford Street, Belfast

1 Bedford Square,


United Kingdom