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AI Adoption Accelerator Programme

A unique collaboration between Tech West Midlands and AND Digital; lowering the barriers to entry for AI adoption in West Midlands manufacturing

About the programme

A free 12-week AI Adoption Accelerator, helping West Midlands manufacturers get up to speed

The West Midlands Digital Roadmap outlines a mission for the next three years - to boost productivity and outputs in the region through the adoption of digital technologies like AI. But many SMEs and micro-businesses face financial, time and talent barriers to embracing new technology, leaving them a step behind. 

Over the course of 12 weeks, the AI Adoption Accelerator will equip businesses in the West Midlands - free of charge - with the practical knowledge, tools and connections they need to transform their business with AI.  

By joining this programme, businesses will have the opportunity to pioneer the transformation of manufacturing in the West Midlands, using AI. 

The AI Adoption Accelerator is delivered by AND Digital, in collaboration with TechWM

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Programme benefits

Why you should get involved

Evidence shows that organisations who embrace AI are more productive and cost-efficient than their competitors

Participants in the Accelerator will follow a curated 12-week programme, resulting in the design of a real world scalable AI Proof of Concept and associated AI scaling strategy. 

Participants in the AI Adoption Accelerator will also receive:


Access to industry-leading experts for bespoke coaching and mentoring support


Dedicated support to design and test a real-world AI proof of concept for your business with a group of technical experts during AI hackathons


Access to a suite of curated learning resources targeted towards maximising your business value from AI and helping you to develop a practical roadmap for adoption


Networking opportunities with businesses and tech accelerators in the region, as well as peer-to-peer support


Tools and frameworks to continually develop, test and scale AI initiatives within your organisation


Meet our supporting partners

We're proud to bring partners on board from across the West Midlands tech ecosystem. These partners will be providing expert support in the legal, talent and funding side of your AI implementation. You can get to know them:

SF Technology 
Browne Jacobson
Technology Supply Chain
Oxford Innovation Advice 

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Programme Benefits

What you'll get out of it

By the end of the Accelerator, you'll have:


  • A clear understanding of your AI problem statements and priority target areas
  • A real-world AI Proof of Concept
  • A robust AI enablement strategy to scale from PoC to business-wide adoption
  • An expanded knowledge of how to navigate and maximise opportunities in the market
  • A network of like-minded businesses and local developers to support your AI adoption journey

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Who can apply?

This initiative is now closed for applications. You can subscribe to our mailing list to hear about future opportunities.

Selection criteria

We welcome applications from eligible businesses, wherever you are in your AI adoption journey

As part of the selection process, firms will be judged based on their ability to demonstrate:

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Openness to AI transformation and a demonstrable need for AI adoption in their organisation, with evidence of a willingness to scale their solutions for future growth

Stakeholder buy-in

Senior leadership and board-level buy-in with sufficient operational support for engagement throughout the duration of the programme.


Commitment to demonstrating impact in the wider region, including realising measurable and reportable benefits that can scale beyond their organisation.


Appropriate access to the necessary systems, data and security provisions to participate in the design sprint / hackathon activity, without programme participation being impacted.

Additional Info

Register your interest in the form above and you'll be directed to the full application form. 


Applications will remain open until 12 noon on Friday 31st May 2024


After the closing date, submissions will be scored based on the degree to which businesses meet the above eligibility criteria. 


The highest scoring businesses will be invited to participate in a virtual interview panel with judges on behalf of TechWM and AND Digital. These interviews will be 30 minutes and will be held during the w/c 10th June. 


The top eight companies selected from this assessment will be notified of the outcome by 14th June, and invited to complete the Programme Participation Agreement, before commencing the Accelerator at the end of June. 

The accelerator is open to eight manufacturing SME’s in the West Midlands and we ask that you apply on behalf of your business. 

Each organisation can nominate up to three representatives (a unique lead applicant plus two additional applicants) who will work as a single team throughout the programme. 

Due to the nature of the initiative, we are unable to accommodate changes to the participants once the Accelerator is live. 

You'll be asked a series of questions on your business and team, your current tech stack, the problems you're hoping to solve with AI and your future growth aspirations.  


For applicants who progress through to the interview stage, we may request further due diligence information (such as evidence of company accounts and directors).



No. As part of the application process, we would like you to evidence that you have considered the potential impact of AI in your company and how it could benefit your day to day operations, but during the course of the programme you will work alongside experts to identify, scope and prioritise a specific long-list of potential opportunity areas to target your PoC. 

Yes. The AI Adoption Accelerator is exclusively for companies currently based in, or locating to, the West Midlands. 

The AI Adoption Accelerator will commence on the w/c 24th June and will run for a period of 12 weeks, up to the end of September 2024. The programme will start with an in person launch event on the 24th June. Participants will also take part in one of two 3-day hackathon sessions that will be held during the w/c 29th July or w/c 8th August. 

To provide flexibility for participants around business commitments, the majority of the programme will be delivered remotely via online calls and sessions. We expect to organise a number of in-person events over the programme period, including a programme kick off and final celebration event, as well as the in-person hackathons. 

The 12-weeks of the Accelerator have been carefully curated to provide the maximum possible benefit in the shortest amount of time by targeting content towards the practicalities of AI adoption in the manufacturing sector, and overcoming some of the barriers that may constrain you as you grow. 

As such,  we encourage participants to attend all sessions to realise the full benefit of the Accelerator and to follow this step by step journey, providing you with the opportunity to learn from experienced experts and connect with others, however we recognise that there may be times when you are unable to attend a session and prioritise shift. 

Attendance at the launch event, peer-to-peer sessions and hackathons is mandatory for participation and you will not be able to complete the programme without attending those. 

At a minimum, we ask that at least one of the available three attendees per business attends a minimum of 80% of the additional programme activities, with self-directed material available to access at a time that suits you. 

Participants in the AI Adoption Accelerator will follow a tailored 12-week programme designed to take your business from an understanding of AI fundamentals through to an AI scaling strategy. 


The first half of the Accelerator will guide you through the foundational aspects of AI adoption, the impact AI is having in the manufacturing sector, and how to make AI implementation in your business successful. As part of this, you will identify problem statements and target use cases to bring to your hackathon event. The hackathons will be held at the midpoint of the programme, where you will have the opportunity to work alongside technical experts and developers over the course of 3-days to design your AI proof of concept solution. 


After this, the second half of the programme will focus on the practical tools and techniques for scaling your AI use case. This includes developing your AI enablement strategy and your adoption roadmap, as well as understanding the ethical implications of AI and mitigating for potential barriers that could otherwise impact your adoption journey. 


By the end of the programme, all participating businesses can expect to have


  • An expanded knowledge of how to navigate AI developments and opportunities in the market
  • A clear understanding of their AI problem statements and priority areas
  • A fully designed real world AI proof of concept
  • A robust AI enablement strategy and roadmap to scale from PoC to wider adoption

The Accelerator combines online learning material and webinars, in-person hackathons, and self-directed activities that support you in applying what you’ve learnt in the context of your business. 

The time commitment through the programme will reflect how much capacity you can dedicate and there may be topics you wish to explore in greater detail through applied work in your organisation. 

On average, we would expect that participants commit a minimum of one day per week throughout the 12 week period of the Accelerator. 

As an illustration, this would consist of -

1hr hands on mentoring support from your AI coach
2hrs per week participation in the community of practice sessions and peer to peer feedback
6 hrs per week of directed learning and experimentation activity to complete the exercises to build step-by-step your AI PoC and scaling strategy. 

In addition, each participating business will attend one of two hackathon events at a venue in the West Midlands that will take place during the w/c 29th July or w/c 8th August.

Each week of the programme will be unique based on the priority topic for that period and the stage you are at in your AI adoption journey. 

As an illustration, during a typical week in the programme  participants can expect a combination of:

  • Community of practice sessions with your peers to outline the focus topic for that week, and a second session to share your progress, network, and receive actionable feedback
  • Targeted 1-1 mentoring sessions with an AI adoption expert
  • Tailored learning resources. Depending on the topic, this may be through e-learning material, recorded webinars, or live virtual workshop events
  • Self-directed exercises - each week will feature an activity for you and your business to complete, applying your learning to your context to scale your strategy step-by-step
  • Time for reflection on the knowledge and skills you have acquired, and applying these within your business context. 

The Accelerator is designed to be agnostic of technology you have in house and we do not specify the technology solutions you should use.

As part of the application process, we ask that you describe your existing technology stack so that we can better understand your internal technical landscape and we can tailor support accordingly. Although having a mature digital architecture in place is not a prerequisite for participation, we do expect successful applicants to have a degree of digitisation already that provides the foundation for AI to be developed. 

Each business participating in the Accelerator will be asked to sign a Participation Agreement with Tech WM’s at the start of the programme, that will be made available at interview stage. 

Unfortunately, if your initial application is not successful for the programme, we cannot provide feedback to all our applicants but we will communicate with you regarding the outcome either way. 

If you have taken part in the interview phase but your application is unsuccessful, you will receive feedback on behalf of the judging panel.

No, the Accelerator does not directly award funds to participating businesses. All of the support provided during the programme is offered free of charge to participants funded by AND Digital and TechWM.

For any further questions regarding the Accelerator programme and the selection process, please email with the subject line "AI Adoption Accelerator".

Ready to get started?

Submit your application here

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