This proposal seeks funding to develop a network that will support the creation of a multi-disciplinary manufacturing community. This manufacturing community will seek to ensure the long-term future of manufacturing and related industries in the UK. The network will bring together a core of enthusiastic and energetic individuals from academia and industry, committed to developing and sustaining a strong future for manufacturing in the UK. The group recognises that manufacturing is changing and as a consequence there is a need to identify the emerging challenges and opportunities for both research and practice. To respond to global changes in manufacturing, the UK needs to address issues such as productivity, entrepreneurship, innovation, servicisation and the development and exploitation of new technologies. Central to achieving this, is the continued development and enhancement of long-term collaboration between the future leaders of industry and academia. To address this need the network will bring a fresh perspective into current manufacturing research through the interaction of future academic leaders from different disciplines and young, fast-track, industrial practitioners. Involving the next generation of manufacturing directors will help to ensure that the network will focus not only on academic challenges, but will also address issues of high priority for manufacturing practitioners. Thus the network aims to set an agenda that will develop solutions that bring about breakthrough improvements in manufacturing performance, increasing the likelihood that research outcomes will be implemented. It also aims to increase the relevance of the research and its outcomes within the manufacturing community. The key differentiator of this network is its multi-disciplinary nature, bringing together a community of academics from several disciplines and industrialists from a range of sectors with a particular interest in manufacturing related issues. Whilst there are many multi-disciplinary projects in the manufacturing area, this network brings together a much wider group of people and extends its boundaries beyond the normal combination of engineers and business practitioners. The main benefit of this approach is that it will enable the network to identify highly relevant manufacturing research topics that will benefit significantly from multi-disciplinary studies, thus increasing the quality and relevance of the final research outcomes. A key objective of the network is therefore the discovery and identification of specific challenges, situations and objectives around which academics and industrialist can coalesce. Some of the thinking behind the network has been inspired by EPSRC's innovative 'sandpit' approach of bringing together people from a wide variety of backgrounds to focus on a common issue from fresh perspectives.
|Effective start/end date||1/03/06 → 30/06/08|
- EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council): £62,423.00