Proposals to boost the UK economy using robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality and artificial intelligence have been unveiled this morning with the publication of the Industrial Digitalisation Review.
The report said that around 175,000 manufacturing jobs could be created over the next decade under a "fourth industrial revolution" using advanced digital technology.
It also said that manufacturing could be boosted by £455bn over the next 10 years and the sector could grow by up to 3 per cent a year.
Chaired by Siemens UK CEO Professor Juergen Maier, the review brings together recommendations from over 200 stakeholders, including high profile companies such as Rolls Royce, GKN, IBM, and Accenture.
Professor Maier said: “The business and academic community has set out a vision for much greater ambition needed for Britain to be a world leader in the fourth industrial revolution.
"Industry is committed to working in partnership with Government, and this combined package of measures will boost UK growth and productivity in manufacturing and provide more exports and increased earning potential, which our economy desperately needs."
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The UK manufacturing sector has the potential to be a global leader in the industrial digital technology revolution.
"Government and industry must work together to seize the opportunities that exist in this sector and promote the benefits of adopting emerging digital technologies, as well as cutting edge business models.”
The Government’s recent Industrial Strategy Green Paper identified industrial digitalisation as one of five potential early sector deals and the review kick-started work with stakeholders to identify opportunities for how Government and industry can work together.
Professor Maier said: “Our Made Smarter proposals will help business understand, deploy and create the latest digital technologies, helping to secure more homegrown R&D and the creation of new industries and highly skilled well paid jobs.
"The proposals build on the UK’s natural technology strengths, whilst setting out a framework to encourage entrepreneurs to develop new technologies that help manufacturers."
CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn said the business community had pulled together to shape recommendations that will speed up technology adoption and bring new energy to the manufacturing sector.
"The UK must compete with China, the USA and much of Europe where there are already advanced plans to embrace the fourth industrial revolution," she said.
"I urge the Government to consider these plans carefully, as they are focused on increasing productivity and wages, especially in smaller businesses.”
The review received substantive input from companies such as digital and software firm Vertizan and computer controlled machine manufacturer Yamazaki Mazak.
Sean Redmond, CEO of Vertizan, said: “Smaller businesses that are growing at scale, especially industrial companies need support learning about how digitalisation can help their business grow.
"The proposals could help the UK to catch up with international competitors who have long sought to take advantage of this new industrial revolution. We want to make industrial digitalisation accessible, understandable and practically useful to firms up and down the country."
The review's proposals include training a million industrial workers to increase the use of digital technologies and the creation of 12 Digital Innovation Hubs and five digital research centres.
The review received input from academic institutions such as the University of Cambridge and the University of Newcastle and the R&D centres of excellence such as the Digital Catapult.