Industry partners help develop the Shoestring project

Support grows for Shoestring as it transitions to a community programme, with in-company specification workshops and factory pilots helping to shape the future Shoestring offering.

As nationwide support for Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring grows, with industry partners doubling to 53 in the past year, the manufacturing community is helping to steer the project in its transition to a fully-fledged programme dedicated to providing low-cost digital solutions for small to medium sized manufacturers. Thanks to factory pilots, more than 10 manufacturers are already demonstrating how easy it is for SMEs to try out digital applications in their companies by implementing one or more of these low-cost digital solutions, such as job tracking and process monitoring.

An overview of the project’s achievements in the first six months of 2021 was presented to 40 participants at this summer’s online Shoestring partner meeting. A range of Shoestring partner organisations were represented at the meeting, including Raspberry Pi, Warren Services, HVM Catapult, Innovate UK, Microsoft, Photofab, Alex Begg, Kemdent, SMAS, Vos Voco, Siemens, Tangent Works, Zen Green Stage, Centre for Digital Built Britain, Brainboxes, DCC Electronics, ESP, Composite Braiding, Fife College and BSI.

Among the notable recent project achievements are the new in-company needs assessment and specification workshops which have been carried out online with SMEs. And also the current deployment of solutions in industry, where companies who have run pilots, have been surprised at the digital capabilities of staff who have had to install solutions with only remote, or intermittent, support from the Shoestring team, due to pandemic restrictions.

Industry involvement in the project is warmly welcomed by the team and proving crucial to its success, as shown not only in workshops and pilots, but also at the working group meetings held over the past three months. Companies have contributed in working groups focussed on technical development, solution providers, hackathons, standards and the future of Shoestring.

The meeting concluded with an update on how partners can get involved in a range of aspects of the project such as trialling the Shoestring configurator to tailor and output a company specific digital solution – we expect to have at least three ready-made solutions available from October 2021.

Watch the project update video below:


If you are interested in finding out how your company or organisation can get involved in the Shoestring programme, or would like to know more, we would love to hear from you!

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