Manufacturing coffee

Previous programmes: Made Smarter Technology Accelerator

Connecting leading UK manufacturers with pioneering technology startups to develop innovative technology solutions.

Delivering impact for industry

Run in 2021, Made Smarter Technology Accelerator was a match-funded programme that provided startups with up to £20,000 each in funding and a platform to grow.

The aim was to support the innovators in developing prototype solutions for real-world challenges set by manufacturing partners, helping them to drive innovation and digitalisation and gain a competitive edge.

Made Smarter Technology Accelerator was delivered by Digital Catapult and funded by UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, as part of the wider Made Smarter national movement.

14 prototypes developed

Solutions were developed for challenges set by Babcock International Group, BAE Systems, GAF, Northumbrian Water, O’Neills, Safran and Sainsburys.

£20,000 for proof of concept

Each of the 14 prototypes recieved funding to develop their solutions directly with industry sponsors

£400,000 for MVPs

Four prototypes went on to be developed into MVPs for our industry challenge owners.

Addressing real world challenges

From digital shipbuilding to microbial control, each of the 14 diverse challenges was based on the five Made Smarter Technology Accelerator themes:

  • Intelligent factory/site management and control
  • Intelligent product verification and validation
  • Transparent and data-driven procurement
  • Digitally enabled factory workforce
  • Resource measurement and analytics

Digital Catapult and tech sponsors Software AG and Verizon provided support and mentorship throughout the programme.

An innovator's perspective

Manufacturing technology company Ascalia used high-tech cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically analyse all fresh food items, ensuring they were free from bacteria and would not spoil before arriving on the shelves. Their partnership with Sainsbury’s continued after the programme.

Marin Bek, CEO, Ascalia

“We are thrilled to be working with Sainsbury’s, helping them ensure food is as fresh as it gets, and in turn learning from a reputable industry partner.”

Industry Challenge Owners and Tech Sponsors

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