A £30 million competition to boost research and development in digital technology has been launched by the Government.
The competition – part of the Manufacturing Made Smarter challenge – is aimed at companies wanting to adopt the latest digital technologies and will provide funding for projects that will help revolutionise the productivity and agility of manufacturing.
It will also fund projects ready for a fast start and with the potential for making rapid impact.
The Government says it will help manufacturers of all sizes develop new digital capabilities – and integrate them into workplaces across the nation.
A Government spokesman said: "Through Made Smarter and our modern Industrial Strategy we are committed to making sure manufacturers are best placed to take advantage of the opportunities being created by industrial digitalisation and help our leading advanced manufacturing sector continue to grow."
UK Research and Innovation chief executive Prof Sir Mark Walport added: "The Manufacturing Made Smarter challenge will boost the productivity of UK manufacturing by encouraging the adoption of digital technologies across a wide range of sectors.
"It will ensure the long-term prosperity of UK manufacturing and contribute to an increase in total productivity, making the UK a global leader of the 4th Industrial Revolution and delivering clean growth."
Juergen Maier CBE, Siemens UK CEO and Co-Chair of the Made Smarter Commission said: "This investment is an incredibly important step forward, helping our small manufacturers embrace the latest advanced and digital technologies at a very disruptive time for the industry.
"Through this challenge there is a real opportunity to boost national productivity and stimulate engineering entrepreneurship, which will create the new high wage-high skilled jobs of the future."