3M BIC brings together the North’s leading experts in Industry 4.0

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The 3M BIC and IoT Tribe hosted a successful event on 10 April around Building the Northern Industrial Digital Technology Ecosystem’ that brought together the North’s leading digital and manufacturing companies, as well as universities.

The IoT Tribe is a successful international accelerator based in Madrid, London and Singapore that helps start-ups make vital industry connections needed to take their products to the next level. It has run a cohort of tech start-ups out of the Digital Media Centre (DMC) in Barnsley since 2018.

Companies from all over the world, including Russia, Finland, Poland, Canada and Spain, have spent the last three months in Barnsley connecting with industry and universities. Through the expertise of their founders, these high calibre companies are developing IoT, AI and cybersecurity applications for manufacturing, logistics, smart homes, utilities, rail and healthcare.

The event at the 3M BIC played host to a cross section of capabilities in Industrial Digital Technologies and Industry 4.0 from across the North of Britain including Censis, the Scottish Innovation hub based in Glasgow, Sensor City from Liverpool and NPL, as well as representatives from the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield.

Industrial Digital Technologies (IDT) are the collective name given for new technologies which are revolutionising industries such as manufacturing, through artificial intelligence, machine learning robotics and automation, and internet of things. IDT can also encompass 3D Visualisation, 3D Printing and AR / VR. A big focus of the IoT Tribe this year was on Cyber Security for industry, a big issue for companies at this moment.

The event also highlighted the University of Huddersfield’s strong capabilities in the development of Industrial Digital Technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and Industrial IoT through its Centre for Industrial Analytics (CIndA).

Professor Phil Lane from the University of Huddersfield’s CIndA described how he has secured funds from the ERA (Electrical Research Association) Foundation to fund the establishment of IDT Made Smarter Demonstrator Lab in the 3M BIC (to be operational in May). The CIndA has also created a Digital Enablers Network (DEN) of tech companies that it works with to help industrial partners achieve innovation in processes and products using IDT, helping to achieve substantial improvements in efficiency and productivity.

This event was made possible through a strong partnership between the University of Huddersfield, the 3M BIC, the DMC in Barnsley and the hard work of Ceri Batchelder from Connect&Create.  

For more information on the IoT Tribe, go to

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