Image: Warwick Media Library

Warwick Manufacturing Group support programme set to boost Midlands economy

On Thursday 8 June, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) published a press release celebrating the purported success of its Digital Innovation for Manufacturing programme (DI4M).

WMG claims to have invested £10m as part of the initiative, culminating in a £220m boost to the Midlands economy. It was a five-year-long programme that allowed SME manufacturers to implement digital innovations into business to bolster productivity and reduce wastage.

The supposed total economic impact of WMG’s investment has been more than twenty times as large as the initial injection, with DI4M helping to create 660 jobs and digitise 370 businesses.

The programme was led by WMG’s SME group, with funding being delivered by the European Regional Development Fund and the WMG Centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult.


Every £1 invested by WMG has had £22 of regional economic impact

–Dr Mark Swift, Director of SME Engagement

The DI4M programme helped provide workshops, alongside roadmaps and process analysis. One of the businesses it aided was PPS, a Midlands-based metal polishing firm which is reported to have 20 employees and a total turnover of £1.5m. The initiative enabled PPS to become more efficient and competitive, reduce waste, and increase the sustainability of their processes. Similar “WMG Success Stories” are explored within their recent press release, including assistance to Jaltek Systems and Gordon Ellis & Co.

The programme has accelerated technological progress in the product market

Dr Mark Swift, WMG’s Director of SME Engagement, said: “Every £1 invested by WMG has had £22 of regional economic impact”. Swift also asserts that DI4M “has been a constant effective enabler for introducing new ideas, new technology to boost productivity as well as acting as a springboard to Net Zero and business energy efficiency”.

Furthermore, the programme has accelerated technological progress in the product market, including innovations such as a wall-climbing robot designed to work in maintenance on tall buildings and new designs for electric charging points.

With this programme having come to a conclusion, WMG claims it continues to support SMEs through other support projects such as the Business Energy Aid Toolkit (BEAT), which aims to reduce energy consumption costs amidst the current energy crisis by providing low-cost solutions. WMG’s SME support web page claims BEAT could help SMEs reduce up to 90% of their energy consumption.

Now that D4IM has concluded, WMG toes a continued line of supporting sustainability by encouraging investment in technological innovation that increases efficiency in manufacturing, with a sustained focus on SMEs.

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