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A new business support programme which is the first of its kind in the country, has launched in the Liverpool City Region to help manufacturers take advantage of the opportunities associated with the current revolution in digital technologies.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), LCR4.0 will allow businesses in the region to access practical support and connect with other SMEs to help them unleash the transformational potential of Industry 4.0.

Often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, involves the increasing connectivity between digital and physical assets in advanced manufacturing driven by advancements and greater reliability in data analytics and human-machine interactions. The adoption of these new technologies in the sector is enabling businesses and their supply chains to optimise productivity and competitiveness.

Offering world-class business support and technical expertise, the LCR4.0 programme is being delivered in partnership by some of the region’s key knowledge and scientific assets: the University of Liverpool (through its Virtual Engineering Centre), Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP), Liverpool John Moores University (Faculty of Engineering and Technology), the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree Centre and Sensor City.

Simon Reid, sector manager for advanced manufacturing at the Liverpool City Region LEP, said: “LCR4.0 is creating a long-lasting legacy for manufacturing in the city region by helping to stimulate sustainable economic growth.

“For smaller or more traditional SMEs, introducing new Industry 4.0 technologies into their manufacturing processes can be daunting and they may think it’s not for them. But LCR4.0 is here to challenge those assumptions and to provide businesses with the support they need to make incremental changes that could have a big impact on productivity.”

As well as manufacturing, other sectors set to benefit from the LCR4.0 programme include digital, scientific, engineering and sensors.

“Although the focus of LCR4.0 is manufacturing, the Liverpool City Region is already home to a growing community of businesses specialising in Industry 4.0 technologies”, added Simon.

“The wealth of knowledge we have access to through all of the partner organisations, as well as our connections with private businesses, means we have the opportunity to take a huge step forward in our goal for a technology-driven regional economy.”

LCR4.0 officially launches on 30th November at the ACC, Liverpool.

The programme is also a part of the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub.