Manufacturing Big-Hitters Back the Launch of MADE – Disruptive Technologies Up-Skilling Project


Leaders in Welsh manufacturing gathered at Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant on Friday, April 5, to welcome the launch of the MADE (Manufacture for Advanced Design Engineering) project. This suite of EU-funded projects, being delivered by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Centre for Advanced Batch Manufacture (CBM), is designed to collaborate with SMEs within industry to future-proof their operations, by upskilling and by adopting advanced manufacturing technologies.

The MADE project, which is being rolled out now for 36 months, is being offered to qualifying organisations as an integrated portfolio, to help Welsh manufacturers understand the challenges they face and how they can respond to them, by tapping into disruptive technologies and training, appropriate for their businesses.

“We are very pleased to launch the MADE project at one of the key manufacturing sites in Wales – Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant.  These are challenging times for manufacturing in Wales, with a number of uncertainties ahead. The on-going Brexit process will usher in economic shifts, we are seeing rapid changes, relevant to manufacturing, unfolding in the world of technology, and there are underlying evolutions in play as far as working patterns and staffing is concerned.

The MADE initiative offers a smart suite of collaborative projects, providing vital tools for manufacturers who are determined to be well-equipped for the future. We are already liaising with manufacturers of all kinds, to talk with them about how the MADE project can help them. We would encourage manufacturers to get in touch with the MADE team to find out how we can work together to benefit their operations.”

UWTSD Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Brown

“It is great to see the MADE project coming to fruition in Wales and we would urge forward-thinking business leaders to embrace the opportunities it offers. It is important that business owners do all they can to ensure their operations are nimble, modern, and that they pre-empt such shifts rather than simply being reactive and playing catch-up.

Ensuring our workforces are well-versed in the intricacies of disruptive technologies is something we cannot afford to avoid. It is vital to the health and vibrancy of our businesses and our economy and I would encourage businesses to take advantage of the important resources being made available by the MADE programme.”

Mark Thomas, Manufacturing and Plant Engineering Area Manager, based at Bridgend

“The University is pleased to launch the MADE project at the site of one of the country’s key employers. UWTSD has a long tradition of working in partnership with industry, delivering programmes and working in collaboration to meet their needs. The programmes offered through the MADE project will enable us to work with the manufacturing sector to respond to the technical challenges of the fourth industrial revolution and to support the sector to maximise the opportunities offered through such innovation.

The University shares the Welsh Government’s ambition, in securing EU funding, assisting companies to boost their competitiveness and productivity in order to secure growth and jobs, particularly in West Wales and the Valleys, where such investment is much needed.”

UWTSD Vice-Chancellor, Professor Medwin Hughes

Manufacturers in Wales who want to find out more can go to:

MADE is designed to complement existing ERDF operations by focusing on the immediate needs of industry in Wales, with MADE projects split into three areas:

ADE: Advanced Design Engineering

Designed to facilitate collaborations between the CBM and eligible manufacturing companies within the whole of Wales, in order to improve and increase each company’s capacity to adopt and use advanced manufacturing technologies. Advanced Design Engineering is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government.

I4.0: Industry 4.0

Available to firms in West Wales and Valleys areas, this aspect of MADE is designed to up-skill professionals within industry to understand, adapt and take advantage of the opportunities offered by rapid, disruptive technological change. I4:0 aims to produce professionals who can understand the impact of I4.0 on their companies, the wider economy and their own careers, and to equip them with the skills necessary to help shape the response to this change within their own companies. Upskilling For Industry 4.0:Wales is funded by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government.

IIM: International Innovation Masters

Available to those in West Wales and Valleys areas, this aspect of MADE is designed to increase the number of people in the workforce with technical skills at an intermediate and higher level. The programme seeks to produce managers with an international perspective who understand how to bring innovative products and services to market, how companies can introduce and exploit innovation, and how new commercial opportunities can be identified and realised. Participants in both the IIM and the Industry I4.0 projects will also be offered a bespoke training course based on their needs and interests, as well as those of their employers, including advanced level learning leading to a University award.International innovation Masters is funded by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government.

The Advanced Design Engineering project is focused on helping SMEs in supply chain networks to realise the benefits of advanced engineering technologies and collaborate on a technology prototyping project to help with the adoption of those technologies. This complements the Astute 2020 programme that engages with companies who have identified a research need which can be mapped onto a Research Challenge in three key areas of Advanced Materials Technology, Computational Engineering Modelling or Manufacturing Systems Engineering.