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The APPEX programme

Access intensive expertise and coaching to improve a chosen project in your advanced manufacturing and engineering business.

Advanced Manufacturing Product & Process Excellence (APPEX)

Amongst a hard-hit landscape of skills shortages, lack of quality trainees and apprenticeships, pricing fluctuations, limited availability of raw materials and supply chain disruptions, we are delighted to launch this debut programme in partnership with the Smart Manufacturing Alliance (SMA).

It is designed to support advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses to improve their competitiveness in 3 ways:

  • Hands on expertise and coaching focused on executing improvements in your chosen project
  • Peer-to-peer learning exchange with other non-compete advanced manufacturing businesses in the region
  • Provide a free one-year membership with Smart Manufacturing Alliance for ongoing peer support



Online and F2F meetings
Registration deadline
Friday 9 January
Delivery dates
Peer sessions starting w/c 16 January

50% grant contribution towards fees is available from Growth Works. Subject to eligibility.
3 - 9 employees:
£2550 + VAT

10 - 49 employees:
£3925 + VAT

50 - 249 employees:
£4575 + VAT
Brochure (PDF)

Your facilitator

Dr Chris Owen

A quick introduction

With over 30 years of experience in advanced manufacturing sectors, Chris has help operational senior leadership and line management roles in Quality, Manufacturing, Operations, Product Development, Engineering and Supply Chain.

Here’s what to expect

This practical, highly tailored programme is for the top 12 non-compete applicants who are committed to improving and scaling their operations.

On this programme you will:

  • Get independent external, evidence-based capability assessment of your business
  • Access hands-on external expertise to help you deliver your project – equivalent to the value of £5,000
  • Improve your business performance in: quality and defect elimination, reduced costs, delivery performance, lead time reduction or improved agility and improved capacity
  • Have 3 group sessions to exchange insights and experiences with other non-compete manufacturers in the region and develop strong professional connections
  • Receive 3 half-day coaching support sessions with Chris during project execution
  • Get one-year membership with the Smart Manufacturing Alliance

Who is this programme for?

This programme is exclusively for advanced manufacturing or engineering businesses interested in amplifying their competitiveness and improving business performance. You must also meet our baseline criteria:

  • A business leader or strategic manager with leadership autonomy and resource to complete the project
  • An established business with 3-249 employees
  • Growth ambitious or fast-growing business
  • Based in the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough region
Since making a few layout changes and organising our work in a different way we’ve improved efficiency, increased capacity, shortened lead times and now use our limited space much better – what's not to like!
Previous cohort
Getting new products into production has always been a stressful nightmare: wrong drawings, late customer changes, short of mateiral… the list goes on. Since setting out a more structured process things aren’t perfect, but they are getting a lot better.
Previous cohort

How to apply

First step? Register your interest in the APPEX programme and we will contact you to arrange a call to discuss your business and project.

Shortlisting will include consideration of:

  • Your growth ambition
  • The impact the programme on helping you execute your project
  • Your desire to learn from and alongside non-compete peers
  • Full commitment of time and resource

Funded by