The Smart Manufacturing Alliance – a dedicated sector network for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

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About us

The Smart Manufacturing Alliance is a dedicated sector network for manufacturers across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

We work with our members to help them become more productive and profitable. With our partners we’re opening up new opportunities for manufacturers to unlock innovation and R&D projects, power new collaborations, and strengthen their competitive edge.

Our network of like-minded manufacturers, are supported by our team’s connections to industry experts across technology development, finance, education, and academia.

Members also have exclusive access to our diagnostics and assessment tool to pinpoint and address gaps in performance and productivity. We provide bespoke support to overcome their most pressing challenges.

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Members Testimonials

Steve Hales – Business Director – Huxley Bertram

It is great to be part of the SMA network – it is a place to engage with like-minded people and manufacturing businesses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”









John Knight – Managing Director – EF Engineering

There are 3 key benefits we have gained from being part of SMA: The networking opportunities within our region, up to date information on industry best practice and innovation, and the engagement with our wider community on issues such as grant funding, training, apprenticeships etc.   For us, as a small manufacturer, it’s the ability to be connected to a wider manufacturing community and to stay up to date with new ideas and opportunities.”

Testimonial for our Consulting Services

Asgar Dungarwalla – Founder and Managing Director –

Gifts Online 4U

“At, we are a personalised gift manufacturer with over 2500 gifts we make in our workshop. We were introduced to the ACMI4.0 program last year. During the visit by Jaz at ACMI4.0 consultant, we identified a number of opportunities to improve our productivity.

These ranged from setting up Kanban systems to visual charts on the machines to look at production output, creating jigs, looking to improve our manufacturing work flow processes.”

After introducing these changes, we have seen a 25% uplift in production and dispatch.

Our experience as a company has been very positive.”

Why join our network?

Boost Productivity heading

Boost Productivity and Sustainability

Benchmark performance, fully leverage Industry 4.0, and get maximum value from your resources
Drive Innovation heading

Drive Innovation

Connect with manufacturers, academics, research institutions, and innovation funders
Get Connected heading

Get Connected

Access expertise, strengthen supply chains, benefit from peer-to-peer learning, explore new opportunities

Latest Insight

Listen to our Latest Podcast - Cashflow – Incentivising early payments to strengthen supply chains

In this episode we speak with Ant Persse, chief executive of Saltare, about how they’re supporting SMEs cashflow by incentivising large buying organisations to offer early payments throughout their supply chains to reduce late payments and keep cash flowing between businesses.

With evidence showing that businesses struggle to get their cash in, this is a must listen to podcast for SME’s!

listen to more podcast episodes



The Turmeric Co.'s journey to digitalisation with Industry 4.0

Our ACMI 4.0 team recently carried out an assessment at The Turmeric Co. a leading supplier of turmeric-based natural ingredient health products.

“The insight they were able to share on automation was fantastic for myself and team and has supported our understanding of this area. We now have a clear direction in terms of growth”

Thomas Robson-Kanu, Founder & CEO at The Turmeric Co.

Read the case study



Powered by experts

The Smart Manufacturing Alliance is creating a world-class manufacturing cluster across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. We’re helping manufacturers reach their full potential, harnessing the power of new technologies, and increasing opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

We’re a joint venture between economic development company, Opportunity Peterborough, and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.

Opportunity Peterborough logo Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority logo


Our Advisory Board of sector experts guide our work and ensure we tackle the most pressing challenges for manufacturers.

Bob Hart

A note from our Programme Director

We want to help manufacturers address productivity and performance gaps with comprehensive diagnostics and one-to-one support. We'll also be developing the leaders and innovators of the future with a training brokerage and events that connect businesses and individuals to foster collaboration and the sharing of best practice.
Bob Hart - Programme Director
Milling machine

Working with us.

Using our Diagnostics and Assessment (DNA) toolkit, our team undertakes a 360° diagnostics of your operations to identify strengths, hidden challenges, and performance gaps. 

We then develop bespoke action plans to benchmark and improve performance across five journeys:

The Five Journeys

Innovation and Commercialisation

Innovation & Commercialisation

Support to develop and market new products, processes and services.
Competitiveness and Trade

Competitiveness & Trade

Evaluate your market position and break into new and emerging markets.
Productivity and Performance

Productivity & Performance

Develop effective strategies for productivity, change management, and business systems.
Sustainability and Carbon Reduction

Sustainability & Carbon Reduction

Embed sustainable models to make your business more productive, profitable, and resilient; making carbon budgets go further.
Enterprise and Growth

Enterprise & Growth

Incubate ideas from individuals, communities, and businesses, and turn them into successful, scaleable business models.
Want to join our network? Join online today

Ready for Industry 4.0?

ACMI 4.0 - grants and free consultancy

Applications for this programme are now closed. Please check with us for ways in which we can help grow your business and other funding opportunities.

Advanced Capacities for Manufacturing – Industry 4.0 (ACMI4.0) is a £1.2 million European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF) project designed to support the adoption and integration of Industry 4.0
technologies and design principles in manufacturing SMEs.

  • Capital grants fund – awards of £2,000 – £20,000.
  • 12 hours of expert consultancy, free of charge, to identify where Industry 4.0 could have the biggest impact on your business
  • Best practice workshops
  • Support to unlock additional grant funding


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GrowIn 4.0 - business toolkits

The GrowIn 4.0 project has developed a range of toolkits to help manufacturing SMEs identify, adopt, and optimise Industry 4.0 technologies.

All tools are free to access and range from benefits identification, assessing readiness for Industry 4.0 return on investment through to ideation and project management.


View the toolkits



Our Groups

Our members across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough want to keep the region at the cutting-edge of industry and make their businesses as competitive as possible. Our groups allow our members to share knowledge and expertise, strengthen their local supply chains, develop in-house skillsets, and foster partnerships and collaborations that drive innovation.


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