LEP welcomes call to embrace future technologies

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has today welcomed a report which calls on the UK to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution by embracing digital technology.

Professor Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens, today published the Industrial Digitalisation Review: Made Smarter UK.

The report is the result of eight months’ work and sets out why and how the UK can embrace new technology and become a world leader in digital tech.

It highlights the work on robotics for the food processing sector being done by the University of Lincoln at its National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach.

The report points out that industrial digitalisation is a massive opportunity for UK industry and the wider economy, but the technologies that underpin it are also highly disruptive, requiring business to be innovative, agile and adaptable.

Industry and government will need to work in partnership, the report states, to provide the infrastructure and ecosystems that can enable manufacturing businesses and their supply chains to maximise these opportunities and be competitive.

“Get it wrong, and we risk further de-industrialising our economy, and becoming ever more reliant on imports,” Professor Maier writes. “Get it right, and we will have found the key to rebalancing and strengthening our economy, creating many new, exciting, and well paid jobs, and leading a renaissance for the UK as a true nation of creators and makers.”

It makes four recommendations:

  • create a much more visible and effective digital ecosystem to accelerate the innovation and diffusion of Industrial Digital Technologies (IDTs)
  • upskill a million industrial workers to enable digital technologies to be successfully exploited
  • inspire the UK’s next industrial revolution with stronger leadership and branding of the country’s ambition to be a global pioneer in IDTs
  • address the key barriers preventing adoption of IDTs

Ursula Lidbetter MBE, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, commented: “We put robotics and automation at the heart of our annual conference LEP Business Live because we passionately believe that only by embracing future technologies can we compete on a global stage and improve productivity.

“This report by Jürgen Meier is a very important contribution to the debate and one which we hope will mark the beginning of a new era for British business.

“The Greater Lincolnshire LEP has played its part by feeding views from industry into the report, particularly from the food sector but also from manufacturing and renewables.

“England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships have a vital role to play and we are looking forward to driving this agenda forward by focusing on food processing, renewables and additive manufacturing (3D printing) in Greater Lincolnshire.

“We welcome the report and urge the Government to accept its findings and seize the opportunities that the fourth industrial revolution will bring.”

New figures released by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP to coincide with LEP Business Live on 20th October show that the number of high-tech businesses in Greater Lincolnshire increased by 20% to 1,500 between 2010 and 2015.

In the same period approximately 1,600 jobs were created in high-tech sectors, bringing the total number of high-tech jobs in Greater Lincolnshire to around 10,000.