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Smart Nano Northern Ireland: Smart Manufacturing Programme

About the programme

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FutureScope Smart Manufacturing

Digital Catapult’s FutureScope Smart Manufacturing offering will increase the level of knowledge and skills in smart technologies within the manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland and the UK, enabling businesses to take advantage of the substantial market opportunities offered by smart technologies – from data management and analytics, to 5G connectivity and machine learning.

This is the first in a series of innovation activities to be run by Digital Catapult during the Smart Nano NI programme over the next five years.

By boosting the implementation and understanding of smart technologies, the programme offers companies of all sizes in the manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland with a range of economic and environmental benefits. Smart manufacturing technologies will give manufacturing businesses access to the real-time data and insights it needs to make smarter, faster decisions, which can ultimately boost the efficiency, profitability and safety of their entire operations.

Smart Manufacturing Experiment


The first stage of the accelerator, FutureScope Smart Manufacturing Experiment, will take place from October to December 2022.

The Experiment Pathway is the first in a series of accessible, cross-sector accelerators which will help participants from UK and Northern Ireland manufacturing businesses to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to introduce the technologies, tools and techniques of Industry 4.0 in their workplace.

The Experiment Pathway will offer participants the chance to work alongside the Smart Nano NI consortium and other experts in smart technology to define a specific challenge within their business and scope out the potential smart technology solution to it.

Digital Catapult has now launched an open call to recruit the first cohort of Northern Ireland and UK manufacturing businesses to take part in the programme.

To apply, visit the FutureScope website here. 


About Smart Nano NI

The collaboration is led by Seagate Technology, a world leader in data storage and management solutions – its facility in NI is recognised as one of the foremost 200mm wafer fabrication plant in the world – and brings together leading organisations from across Northern Ireland:

  • Analytics Engines – leader in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning,
  • Causeway Sensors – photonic therapeutic device specialists
  • Cirdan – leading provider of medical informatics and imaging solutions
  • Digital Catapult – advanced digital technology innovation centre
  • North West Regional College – a national award-winning Business Support Centre for skills development, R&D and innovation
  • Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) – leads the Centre of Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonics and Advanced Data Storage
  • Ulster University – the Intelligent Systems Research Centre (ISRC) is an established Centre of Excellence in Intelligent Systems specialising in artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Yelo – photonics test equipment vendor.


Total project funding


UKRI Strength in Places funding


Consortium partners

Awarded £42.4m by UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund, Smart Nano NI is a Northern Ireland consortium collaborating to develop game-changing advanced prototyping and smart manufacturing methods to deliver new technologies.

The consortium shares a niche capability around nano-manufacturing and world-leading knowledge in photonics. The project aims to support innovation-led economic growth, both in the area and nationally, as well as enhancing local research and innovation collaborations.