Manufacturers Urged to Sign Up to Industry 4.0 Accelerator

29 January 2019

UCLan joint venture company launches disruptive leadership in technology programme

A unique disruptive leadership in technology programme aimed at helping manufacturers to start, scale and succeed in industry 4.0 has launched at a packed VIP event at BAE Systems’ Academy for Skills & Knowledge in Lancashire.

The ‘Access’ programme was unveiled to an audience of leading regional manufacturers and leaders from education, government and SMEs by North West specialist technology training and consultancy service, IN4.0 PLC.

Spearheaded by IN4.0’s CEO, Mo Isap, ‘Access’ has been designed through the company’s joint venture with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and in collaboration with NatWest’s entrepreneur accelerator. The programme is also supported by BAE Systems and will provide access to specialist advisers from the Made Smarter North West pilot, which aims to help Industrial Technology Start-ups and SME manufacturers to be at the forefront of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

A key facet of IN4.0’s business model is to recruit top graduate talent nurtured through the IN4.0 School, which will equip them with the skills they need to be employed by the company as ‘Technical Disruptors’. The school will drive high value employment and business start-up opportunities for graduates and enable them to support the delivery of IN4.0 ‘Access’.

"The future is very exciting and we need a collective approach to addressing the challenges that industry faces."

Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 PLC, says that by taking advantage of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Industrial internet of things, virtual reality (VR), robotics and 3D printing, companies can increase productivity and global competitiveness. He said IN4.0’s mission is to forge collaborations between business and education to help seize the opportunities brought about by technological transformation.

Speaking at the event, keynote speaker Professor Juergen Maier CBE, CEO of Siemens and Chair of the Made Smarter Commission, talked about the great work being delivered through IN4.0’s partnership with UCLan and said the Made Smarter North West Pilot is a £20 million investment between government and industry. It includes match funding opportunities and the provision of dedicated technical and business support for manufacturing SMEs.

The delegates also heard from a panel of students and graduates from BAE Systems and UCLan, who described how they are using Industry 4.0 technologies in their current roles.

Dave Holmes, Manufacturing Director (Air) at BAE Systems, said: “The future is very exciting and we need a collective approach to addressing the challenges that industry faces. The IN4.0 ‘Access’ accelerator programme offers a great opportunity for SME's in the North West the gain the necessary skills and technologies required to become fit for the future.”

Darren Pirie, Head of Entrepreneur Proposition and Experience at NatWest, said: “NatWest is proud to be working with IN4.0 at UCLan to support the manufacturing sector and to share our expertise to help accelerate these UK businesses.

“Supporting entrepreneurs is a key priority for NatWest and our dedicated entrepreneur accelerator programme consisting of bespoke business coaching, mentoring and ecosystem and peer to peer connectivity is specifically designed to help entrepreneurs that want to start, grow and scale their businesses.”