ByzGen, Innovate UK, and a £50 million data innovation hub

ByzGen has been selected as the enterprise blockchain supplier for a new £50 million Smart Manufacturing Data Hub (SMDH) project at Ulster University, set to boost the productivity and competitiveness of UK manufacturers. ByzGen’s CEO, Marcus Ralphs explains more.
Marcus Ralphs
Marcus Ralphs
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Innovate UK, ByzGen and a multi-million data innovation hub

A new digital smart factory and testbed at Ulster University is set to boost the productivity and competitiveness of UK manufacturers. Backed by £20 million of funds from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Made Smarter Innovation challenge, the £50 million Smart Manufacturing Data Hub (SMDH) will support small and medium size manufacturers to capture and better utilise their data, helping them increase productivity, growth and sustainability.

Nearly 10,000 manufacturers from industries as diverse as food and drink to aerospace, will be supported to develop, test and adopt the latest data-driven technologies. And 13,000 jobs will be supported – boosting economic growth across the UK.

How is ByzGen involved?

It was clear from ByzGen’s very first discussions with Ulster University that one of the biggest challenges the SMDH consortium faced in attracting and on-boarding manufacturing SMEs was their legitimate concerns over data security and sovereignty. 

Having successfully proved FALKOR’s credentials in addressing this challenge across multiple sectors including defence, health and life sciences, and financial services regulatory reporting, it was felt that ByzGen were the perfect fit to underpin the SMDH consortium’s Manufacturing Data Exchange Platform (MDEP).

So, having been selected as the enterprise blockchain supplier for the SMDH project, Ulster University acquired a three year FALKOR licence to deploy FALKOR as the decentralised backbone of the MDEP. 

We couldn’t be more excited about being part of the team – driving UK Manufacturing SMEs productivity and competitiveness through access to data analytics and data intelligence. And we’re confident that the UKs manufacturing SMEs will quickly realise the potential increase in top line and operational efficiencies that this project will help them unlock. They can also join the project fully confident in the knowledge that their data is managed and controlled properly. 

What is the project’s potential?

Having worked with the consortium for many months (from helping develop the bid for the Innovate UK Made Smarter Innovation Programme, to working with subject matter experts and SME engineering firms to understand the challenges they face) ByzGen have been part of this journey from the start and we entirely support the huge potential of this project. We believe deeply in its ability to deliver a positive and lasting effect on shop-floor process efficiency and by extension, their competitiveness.

ByzGen specifically will be able to deliver around trust, data sovereignty, and of course data security. 

Sustainable manufacturing SME growth through data intelligence and industry expertise

The way we see it, providing access to useful and usable data intelligence is only part of the benefit for SMEs joining the project. An equally significant part is the access to industry leading academic and commercial expertise, geared towards assisting the manufacturing SMEs to understand the untapped potential of their data. 

From initial engagements aimed at assisting manufacturing SMEs, to benchmark process efficiency and energy consumption, through to the process of defining and quantifying the challenges they face and ultimately enabling those SMEs to make actionable decisions on how to improve and optimise, we have been there for the critical steps that will ensure sustainable manufacturing SME growth.  

Unlocking data value securely with FALKOR

ByzGen’s enterprise blockchain platform, FALKOR is fundamental to the SMDH process of unlocking data value through the secure and sovereign exchange of high-value run-time and historic data sets and resultant data intelligence.

Thanks to this project, we firmly believe that more manufacturing SMEs in the UK will have the ability to access data intelligence which will drastically improve their process efficiency and competitiveness. It genuinely is a real game changer.

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