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Software firm makes smart approach to Euro aerospace clusters

A business in Cheshire specialising in smart supply chain technology is forging links with aerospace
manufacturing clusters in Europe after introductions by Enterprise Europe Network advisers.
With help from EEN, Value Chain made a successful application for €3.2 million of EU Horizon 2020 funding through the SME Instrument (Phase 2).
An aerospace cluster from Latvia, one of seven introduced through EEN, formally agreed during the 2017 Paris Air Show to work with Value Chain through technology co-operation and financial
agreements. Discussions have reached an advanced stage with two other clusters.

Advanced manufacturing sectors

CEO Tom Dawes launched Value Chain as a start-up in 2013 with half-a- dozen staff. The company
now employs 60 people, mainly at its headquarters within Daresbury Innovation Centre.
Value Chain has developed a range of software solutions for manufacturers to share data more
easily with supply chain partners, particularly in advanced manufacturing sectors such as aerospace and automotive.
They allow companies to collect data from people, plant, products, processes and partners. Smart
dashboards then allow companies to make informed decisions about production and the supply
EEN has helped Value Chain to secure new strategic clients and projects, and to advise on potential sources of funding to develop the business.

Global strategic partnerships

“Our EEN adviser Viney Chauhan has helped us with our funding strategy. Really
importantly, he has helped us to cast the net globally and helped open the doors that we would
have found difficult as a small company – and we’ve not had to pay anything for that.”
Tom added: “Without EEN looking at our business from the outside in and helping with that strategic matchmaking, we wouldn’t have been where we are today. If you need global strategic partnerships, I’d go through the EEN route.”
He added: “We are at a very exciting time in manufacturing’s history –the fourth industrial
revolution. For us, that’s about connecting smart factories and smart supply chains.”