Delivered by Digital Catapult, as part of the Smart Nano NI consortium, this Smart Manufacturing Accelerator will consist of four in-person workshops, designed to empower 10 manufacturing companies from the UK to leverage the smart technologies, tools and techniques of Industry 4.0.

Taking place across October and November 2023, this series of four workshops and classes combined with self paced learning and remote support and consultation will enable participants to propose actionable solutions for identified business challenges and opportunities.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn from and work alongside experts in the industrial application of
    • Photonics
    • Internet of Things
    • Future Networks (including 5G)
    • Immersive Technologies (including augmented and virtual reality)
    • Artificial Intelligence & Data Science and
    • Digital Twins.
  • Work through the innovation process with the expertise of a dedicated facilitator.
  • Define and select a specific business challenge to scope out and strategise an advanced technology solution for.

At the end of the programme, having created and validated a proposal for a solution to address their specific business challenge or opportunity, participants will take part in a Graduation Event in late 2023 to present this proposal to industry experts and their peers.The work produced during the programme and  feedback will form a strong basis for the  participants to take their proposal to the next stage of development.

Applications close at 23:00 on Sunday 8th October 2023.

Application date extended

Benefits and support

The FutureScope Smart Nano Accelerator Programme offers the following benefits to Northern Ireland companies:

Training across the advanced digital technology stack

Training in photonics, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, their industrial application, use cases and market potential.

Access to expertise

Global experts in photonics, the internet of things (IoT) and data science

Innovation workshops

Training in innovation methodologies and tools, as well as business challenge and opportunity mapping.

Peer and industry networking

Networking and learning opportunities from peers in the same and similar fields

Who should apply?

This offering is designed for manufacturing startups, small and medium enterprises and corporates based in Northern Ireland.

It will be of relevance to those with an interest in learning about, adopting or expanding the use of advanced digital technologies to address specific business challenges. 

The initiative would also be of benefit to companies adjacent to manufacturing – for example, supply chain, logistics.

Please note that the programme requires at a minimum the attendance of two people per company at each session).

Why get involved?

Participants will gain unique access to world class technologists in smart technologies including photonics, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT),and immersive technologies (including augmented reality and virtual reality).

They will have the opportunity to work alongside global experts in innovation practice, utilising innovation principles and methodologies to scope and target their solution proposals to challenges they face in their businesses.

Additionally, our accelerator programmes also provide an opportunity to network with peers, potential collaborators and funders.

Additional detail

Participant companies are expected to delegate a minimum of 2 employees, ideally 3, to attend 3 in-person workshops and demonstration sessions lasting 6 hours each and 1 graduation event lasting 3 hours occurring during October 2023 and November 2023

Participants are encouraged to avail of additional support and resources provided remotely between these sessions including:

  • 1-2-1 meetings with 
    • their Innovation Facilitators
    • supporting technologists
  • Additional optional tech specific webinars – “Masterclasses”
  • Other self paced learning material and resources

Participation in the initiative is free and funded by UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund.  

Successful applicants must be eligible under De Minimis State Aid Rules to receive approximately £1,500 of in-kind technical and consulting  support from members of the Smart Nano NI consortium.

How to apply and next steps

Applications will close by 23:00 on Sunday 8th October.

Applicants must:

  • Be a UK or NI registered company with a location in Northern Ireland.
  • Be working in or adjacent to the manufacturing sector.
  • Have a demonstrable need or want to understand more about smart manufacturing technologies and their application to their business.
  • Be available for 4 full day in-person workshops/sessions to take place in Derry/Londonderry spread over the course of the programme.
  • Be within State Aid allowances.
  • Be established for a minimum of 12 months.

Additionally, as part of the application process, we ask you to complete our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion form – this is to help us better understand the demographics of the sector and ensure we can take appropriate action to ensure we are diverse and inclusive. This is not mandatory for applicants and has no effect on anyone’s application, however, we do need to understand the demographics of the individuals taking part in the programme. Please fill in the EDI survey here.

An overview of the process is outlined below.

  1. Applicants submit their registration of interest using the form below.
  2. Applicants will be automatically sent the application form via email, to be completed via Typeform.
  3. Applicants must submit their application by 23:00 on Sunday 8th October 2023.
  4. Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted. The participants for the programme are chosen by a panel of expert judges and informed in due course.

Apply now

“Smart Technologies” include Photonics and Nanotechnology, Internet of Things, Network Technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies such as Machine Vision, Digital Twins, Immersive Technologies like Augmented and Virtual Reality. What is the current level of knowledge about smart technologies in your company?
What would your company like to achieve from being involved in the accelerator (tick as many as apply to you):
FutureScope is delivered by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology.