The interim report of the Industrial Digitisation Review was published today. The review, led by Juergen Maier, was announced in the Industrial Strategy and when complete will likely form the blueprint of a sector deal for the manufacturing and industrial sectors. The aim is to explore the opportunity of, barriers and remedies to accelerated take-up of industrial digital technologies – be that AI, Internet of Things, robotics or analytics – often referred to as Industry 4.0.
The report makes clear that the UK is well placed to take advantage of these industrial digital technologies which if fully implemented could make the sector up to 25% more efficient and deliver annual growth of 0.5% GDP. It also makes clear that there are first mover advantages in the creation of new services and industries that harness the data that flows from these technologies. Despite this the report is clear other countries are doing more to carve out a leadership position due to several barriers that are preventing greater adoption.
The report highlights:
- A lack of leadership of industrial digitisation in the UK
- Poor adoption of technology, particularly within supply chains
- The difficulty in scaling up businesses
As solutions to these barriers, the report suggests a new Digital Technology Institute to fulfil the leadership role, more effective business support and clear standards to assist in wider adoption amongst SMEs and recommendations around how to facilitate a more productive ecosystem between academia, start-ups and wider industry.
Matthew Evans, Head of techUK’s Internet of Things Programme said “This interim report is an important stepping stone on the way to achieving a sector deal that will tackle the productivity gap in the manufacturing sector. The barriers identified hinder many sectors of the economy in reaching a higher level of digital maturity. What needs to happen next is for the companies and sectors involved to produce detailed outputs and targets for a new sector deal involving both industry and government action. Innovation must be at the heart of the industrial strategy in order to create a modern digitally driven economy.”