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A spotlight on innovation: Driving positive change in the engineering sector

29 February 2024

Here, DPA celebrates the UK manufacturing businesses leading the way in driving change and inspiring the next generation of engineers.

(Image: Shutterstock)
(Image: Shutterstock)

Made Smarter drives technological innovation 
Made Smarter has announced that its digital adoption programme has now enabled 300 UK businesses to invest in new technologies. The projects, which employ such technology as sensors, robotics, 3D printing and AI, are expected to result in the creation of almost 1,600 new jobs and over 2,850 upskilled roles, and contribute £242m to the economy over the next three years.

Donna Edwards, Programme Director of Made Smarter, is now urging more manufacturing businesses to seek funded support: "Digital isn’t coming – it’s arrived. Adopting technologies at the right time and in the right way is the key to unlocking real benefits for industry, society and the planet," she said. 

Algae carbon capture wins innovation in sustainability award
Schneider Electric, in collaboration with Brilliant Planet and Platinum Electrical Engineering, won the Innovation in Sustainability category at the Robotics & Automation Awards 2023, for their innovative, flexible, and scalable carbon capture solution. Leveraging Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Automation Expert software, the joint effort aims to streamline and enhance management solutions for carbon capture and sequestration through algae-based methods.

Renishaw empowers future female engineers through STEM workshops
Renishaw has launched workshops to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM, particularly in engineering. Hosted at Renishaw's New Mills headquarters in Gloucestershire, 30 students from Denmark Road High School participated in hands-on activities ranging from Greenpower racing insights to 3D printing workshops. With this new initiative, Renishaw aims to break down gender stereotypes, nurture curiosity, and provide practical insights into engineering careers. 

Mouser, Analog Devices and One Tree Planted smash tree planting target 
Mouser Electronics, in partnership with Analog Devices and One Tree Planted, has successfully met its fundraising goals to plant 150,000 trees across Europe and the United States. This initiative, which began in February 2023, involved donating funds to One Tree Planted with every Mouser order containing Analog Devices products. The project supports global reforestation efforts worldwide, underscoring the benefits of collective commitment to combatting climate change. 

PP C&A urges proactive action to combat skills gap 
PP Control & Automation (PP C&A) has surpassed a £5 million training milestone. PP C&A collaborates with schools to offer factory visits, mentoring opportunities, work experience, and STEM projects, championing diverse learning pathways and technical excellence. It is now encouraging other manufacturers to nurture future talent by investing in apprenticeships, graduates, and initiatives like the Design & Make Challenge.

Carbon capture collaboration equips next-generation engineers for energy transition
ABB and Imperial College London have announced that they will continue their collaborative work on a carbon capture plant – the only one of its kind in an academic institution in the world. The partnership, which is set to span over 10 years, equips students with essential skills for addressing the energy transition challenge and pioneering cleaner, more efficient, and environmentally conscious industrial processes.

World's first lunar football kits designed by schoolchildren 
The IET, in collaboration with Lioness Beth England, launched a competition for children to design the world's first football kits for moon football, which they claim could arrive as early as 2025. Selected from over 500 entries, 13-year-old Erim Ali and seven-year-old Ishaani Nair emerged as the proud winners. The competition sought to redefine perceptions of engineering and inspire a passion for STEM-related careers through the fusion of football and space. 

By engineers, for engineers: Protolabs launches inspirON academy 
Protolabs has introduced the inspirON academy, offering free CPD-accredited online training courses to enhance engineers' understanding of injection moulding, 3D printing, and CNC machining. The academy, designed by engineers for engineers, aims to bridge the skills gap in manufacturing by providing comprehensive learning materials accessible to professionals at all career stages.

Read DPA's all-new Upskilling, Recruitment & Innovation supplement in the March issue.

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