Monday, November 29, 2021

Manufacturing industry to receive a big boost towards reaching zero carbon with new project

The UK manufacturing industry is set to receive a big boost towards reaching zero carbon with the creation of a new project aimed at siphoning the knowledge of the country’s leading social science experts.

Loughborough’s Professor Jan Godsell will co-direct a new network that will encourage academics to research the social and economic factors that will help UK manufacturing achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050.

Prof Godsell and Professor Jill MacBryde, of the University of Strathclyde, will lead the £4m InterAct initiative – a project funded by the UKRI’s £147m Made Smarter Innovation programme.

The network is a call to arms for academics from the social sciences to support the innovation and distribution of digital technologies that bolster the UK economy while also bringing it into line with national environmental targets.

The 38-month programme is due to end in December 2024.

Alongside Prof Godsell and Prof MacBryde, the programme will also be supported by a Network Management Team and a core research team from Loughborough, Strathclyde and Sheffield universities.

Prof Godsell, Dean of Loughborough’s School of Business and Economics, said: “Looking to the future, our aspirations for InterAct is a community with clear added-value for all where stakeholder groups want to engage and be part of the Made Smarter Network Plus.

“We will embed diversity and inclusivity. Diversity of thought will bring benefits of multiple perspectives. Inclusivity will help us to embrace and collaborate with existing research groupings, rather than compete with them.

“Participation will be based on expertise, not status, and we will seek to develop people at all stages of their careers.

“Our vision of success would be that the InterAct is seen as a partner of choice; easy to work with, welcoming, and professional.

“Ultimately, we would like to be a one-stop-shop that curates existing and emerging knowledge and capabilities (research and education) and showcases leading practice.”

Prof MacBryde added: “Our long-term vision is to build a strong, vibrant, interdisciplinary community to support UK manufacturing in the adoption and development of digital technologies that will result in a stronger, more resilient, manufacturing base. We know that technology alone is not enough.

“We need to harness the knowledge of people and society to really reap the full benefits that technology can bring. Whilst there are clear advantages of this network for the economy, manufacturers and technology providers, there are also benefits for the academic communities.

“Collaborative working, new challenges and contexts will open up new avenues for world-leading research.”

There are five key elements to the InterActive programme:

  • A Commissioned research programme will provide the opportunity to curate, augment and amplify insights from the ESS to support the diffusion and adoption of IDTs. 5 different funding mechanisms have been adopted to broaden the appeal of the programme and increase participation. These include systematic reviews, small projects, a sandpit, Early Career Researcher (ECR) Fellowship programme, and an impact acceleration fund resulting in 18 interdisciplinary projects.
  • A Knowledge exchange programme is critical to the diffusion of ideas from the ESS to the policymakers, manufacturers and IDT providers who could benefit from the adoption of IDTs. The comprehensive programme includes a range of activities that amplify the core research programme (international webinars, discovery days, annual conference), provide education and insights (impact workshops, insight days, summer school), support academic publication (special tracks, journal special issue) and enable and amplify the diffusion of ideas (website and curation platform, mentoring programme, access to Emerald impact services).
  • The Core research programme complements the commissioned research programme base by addressing more systemic problems that require a longer term and more in-depth research. It has the additional benefit of providing a common purpose to galvanise the team. Future-focused it considers the future of manufacturing ecosystems (Prof. Jan Godsell and Dr Alok Choudray, Loughborough), future of work (Prof. Jill MacBryde and Prof. Colin Lindsay, Strathclyde) and the future of the economy (Prof. Vania Sena and Prof. Philip McCann, Sheffield).
  • An Impact acceleration programme. There are lots of ESS insights currently in existence, that are not in a form that is easily accessible to policymakers, manufacturers, and IDT providers. Researchers often lack the time and skills to turn their work into more accessible outputs. An impact acceleration programme has the dual benefit of building impact capacity within the ESS community whilst making the insights more accessible to end-users.
  • A Storytelling fellowship programme. The ability to use storytelling as a methodology and form of dissemination is a key research skill for economic and social scientists. The storytelling fellowship programme has the dual benefits of building storytelling capacity within the ESS whilst using stories to make insights more accessible to the end users, the network and society at large.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £33.60 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.







Latest news

Related news

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close