It is a marriage set to fire manufacturing into cyberspace.
The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has joined industry body Sheffield Digital as both sectors boom.
The 500-strong AMRC, part of Sheffield University, has become a regional partner to help firms in both sectors share information and collaborate on projects.
It joins more than 35 companies and organisations who have joined Sheffield Digital.
The AMRC works on hi-tech research projects for industry and was a key reason for McLaren and Boeing choosing to build factories nearby.
Rab Scott, the AMRC’s head of digital, said the fourth industrial revolution was being driven by digital technology.
He added: “We want to be the place where people come to see and interact with technology, explore the pros and cons and understand where to invest in order to achieve value.
“The 4th Industrial Revolution (aka Industry 4.0) is being driven by digital technology, so it makes absolute sense to build closer links between local digital companies and the region’s manufacturers.
“The digital sector needs to know about the needs of manufacturing and manufacturers need to understand the capabilities of digital technologies.”
Mel Kanarek, director and co-founder of Sheffield Digital, said: “We’re delighted to have this relationship with the AMRC.
“Sheffield Digital’s community includes many businesses that have the ideas and skills that manufacturing needs.
“This partnership will help feed that expertise into the supply chain and increase opportunities for innovation and the development of new businesses.”
The AMRC has 11 core capabilities including integrated manufacturing, design and prototyping, additive manufacturing and virtual reality. It is also home to the Integrated Manufacturing Group which spans robotics and automation, digitally-assisted assembly and manufacturing informatics.
Rab Scott is also on the board of national virtual reality body Immerse UK.