Digital Dairy Value-Chain for South-West Scotland & Cumbria

Project Details


Creating 365 jobs, £25.6M additional annual GVA, £150M business efficiencies and wider societal/ environmental benefits, this project will develop a world-class research, innovation and business platform to establish South-West Scotland and Cumbria as the leading region for advanced, sustainable and high-value dairy processing. In an area characterised as remote and rural where GVA is well below the national average, Agri-Food manufacturing, food tourism, digital connectivity and digital skills are identified as priorities for securing regional productivity gains. The Digital Dairy Value-Chain Project will develop innovative enabling technologies (e.g. sensors, 5G-communications, blockchain), infrastructure and advanced manufacturing processes to create a fully-integrated and traceable supply chain. It will generate new opportunities to optimise manufacturing processes, support innovative product development and valorise consumer concerns around environmental impact, animal welfare and waste.Currently, research and innovation activity in the milk-processing chain is thin. This project, embedded in a unique region that crosses national boundaries, will stimulate a vibrant research, innovation and business ecosystem:- Digital Connectivity- Establish the region as a beacon for a digitally-connected milk-processing sector with commercial-scale demonstrators (e.g. digital twinning; smart factory; connected supply chain)- R&D and Innovation- Provide state-of-the-art research infrastructure, expertise and funding to catalyse the collaborative development and commercialisation of innovative products and processes in dairy-processing using enabling technologies- Business growth- Provide technical support and infrastructure for early ventures and scale-up businesses. These include Maker-space facilities for New Product Development and process improvement in value-added milk processing; and an Engineering Hub for enabling technology businesses.- Talent and skills- Align technical/professional training to provide industry-focussed CPD with clear progression routes, and provide training for digital business skills in remote rural regions.Proposed activities are additive to other regional initiatives (e.g. Borderlands Growth Deal). They are designed to exploit the benefits achieved through on-farm innovations and feed these into the milk processing, distribution and retail chain where value-addition can be maximised.
Short titleDigital Dairy
AcronymDigital dairy
Effective start/end date1/02/2230/09/26

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


  • dairy processing
  • digital dairy
  • advanced manufacturing
  • sensors
  • enabling technologies
  • robotics
  • 5G
  • digital twinning


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