Thousands of manufacturers are set to benefit from a new £50m data innovation hub led by Ulster University.

The Smart Manufacturing Data Hub will support small and medium-sized manufacturers to capture and better utilise data, helping them increase productivity, growth and sustainability.

The hub is available to manufacturers in Northern Ireland before going live for companies UK-wide, supported by 12 delivery partners.

Around 10,000 manufacturers will be assisted in developing, testing and adopting the latest data-driven technologies thanks to the hub, testbed and grant funding; approximately 13,000 jobs are also expected to be supported.

The funding comes as part of the £300 million Made Smarter Innovation Challenge, a collaboration between UK Government and industry to support the development and increased use of new and existing industrial digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Pro Vice Chancellor, Research at Ulster University, Professor Liam Maguire, said: “Made Smarter is another important project in the broader realisation of the Derry and Strabane City Deal agenda, further enhancing the attractiveness of investment and driving economic growth.”

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