The association for the people and businesses of Sheffield's digital industries.

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Bringing Sheffield’s digital and manufacturing sectors together

Our new partnership with the AMRC and why we think it's great for Sheffield's digital businesses.

Last week, the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) became our latest regional partner. We’ll be working over the coming months to create opportunities for Sheffield’s digital and manufacturing companies to meet up, share what they know and collaborate.

We think this is a great opportunity for us in the digital sector. You can read more about the partnership over on the AMRC site. Here, I want to share why we’re so excited about it and to look ahead to the future.

Making the connection

The Sheffield Digital board has been talking for a while about how manufacturing is such a significant industry for the region. But also how advanced manufacturing and digital really belong together.

That’s why we’re delighted about this new partnership with the AMRC. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the two industries to connect and do great things. Manufacturing is still important to the regional economy and now is the perfect time to combine it with our growing digital capability.

We think there is a compelling story to be told with Sheffield as a centre for digitally-enabled advanced manufacturing.

New opportunities

Our first objective is to develop a programme of activities that will get people who work in digital to visit Factory 2050, the UK’s first totally reconfigurable, digital factory for collaborative research. You’ll have the opportunity to discover what goes on behind the scenes and meet the software and manufacturing engineers who work there.

We also want to create opportunities for manufacturers and digital people to meet. Chances are, manufacturers don’t know what digital can do for them, and people working in digital don’t know what problems manufacturers face. By getting those conversations going, we’re sure good things will happen.

Ultimately, our vision is to build a collaborative community. We want people from digital and manufacturing to learn from each other and create amazing new products and solutions.

As for the AMRC, they really want to forge stronger links with the digital community in 2017. It’s important for them to raise the profile of the AMRC – especially Factory 2050 – as the place where digital meets manufacturing.

The AMRC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which includes several other centres around the country. The hope is that the activities we create together in Sheffield can be rolled out to other centres, helping to put the AMRC on the map as the place that ‘owns’ Industry 4.0.

Let’s get to work

With the AMRC on our doorstep, we’ve got a high-profile gateway to a global industry undergoing massive change. We’re very excited about the kinds of things that digital businesses will do and gain through this partnership.

It’s a chance to learn more about manufacturing in the region, but also to offer solutions to problems of efficiency, productivity and innovation.

Get in touch

If you want to find out more or if you’re interested in becoming a Sheffield Digital partner, just email and get the conversation started. And don’t forget, you can support us and our work by becoming a Sheffield Digital member.