CarbonVue is an innovative digital tool that enables businesses to increase efficiency whilst reducing costs and CO2 emissions from their supply chains. Using CarbonVue, companies can highlight key points in the configuration of their supply chains to target with improvements to help produce a greener tomorrow.
Rapid market changes call for demand-driven collaborations in manufacturing, which trigger supply chain evolution to more distributed supply structures.
This paper explores the system dynamics of the largest European aerospace manufacturer’s supply chain. The authors conceptualise a manufacturing ecosystem by observing the impacts of supplier development, digital platforms, smart contracting, and Industry 4.0 on demand-driven collaborations in time.
The research team offers further contributions to the literature on ecosystem strategy, particularly for regulated industries, by disclosing the role of demand-driven collaborations in supporting the ecosystems’ growth. This paper also provides manufacturing firms with an open-access tool to exemplify their ecosystem development and produce initial training datasets for AI/ML algorithms, supporting further analytics.
This research was conducted by Dr. Nikolai Kazantsev (IfM, University of Cambridge), Oleksii Petrovskyi (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy), Professor Julian M. Müller (Seeburg Castle University, Austria and Erfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany).
The transition to sustainability coincides with an industrial digitalization. While this latest industrial revolution creates new challenges, it also revives historical ones encountered in previous transitions. Through two parallel systematic reviews, challenges are identified for the current digitalization transition and historical transitions: mechanization, electrification and computerization.
The aim of this research is to identify lessons from history that may help overcome the challenges of industrial digitalization. The paper provides illustrative examples of social factors that are either internal to a technology adopting organization or external, related to wider societal change. These factors suggest actionable insights that may support the adoption of Industrial Digital Technologies. The following videos and report introduce the project in more detail and provide a full accounting of their findings.
This research was conducted by Dr. Ahmad Beltagui, Dr. Brian Sudlow of Aston University Dr. Miying Yang and Glen Jonata.of Cranfield University, and Qinglan Liu of Exeter University.
Download “Report - Insights from history: a systematic review of historical industrial transitions”Learning-from-histories-Report.pdf – Downloaded 2140 times – 221.55 KB
The competitiveness of industry in the UK is dependent on the rapidly growing digitalisation of manufacturers. Digitalisation provides the opportunity to drive the efficiency and innovativeness of manufacturers, and forms the basis for creating new business models. Yet, manufacturers are lagging in their investments into digitalisation and risk missing out on capturing the opportunities digitalisation offers. The below report, guide and video outline the specific challenges the manufacturing industry faces when making effective investments into digitalisation and identifies the key questions they should address to overcome them.
This research was conducted by Dr. Andreas Schroeder, Dr. Yang Zhao and Dr. Daniel Andrews of Aston University.
Download “Mini-guide - Making investments into digitalisation: the manufacturer’s perspective”InterAct_BusinessCaseDigitalisation_MiniGuide_submitted.pdf – Downloaded 643 times – 1.74 MB
Download “Report - Digital investment for manufacturers: a literature review of challenges and good practices”InterAct_BusinessCaseDigitalisation_Report_submitted.pdf – Downloaded 809 times – 1.03 MB
The manufacturing sector is a vital component of most economies, which leads to many cyberattacks on organisations, whereas disruption in operation may lead to significant economic consequences. Adversaries aim to disrupt the production processes of manufacturing companies, gain financial advantages, and steal intellectual property by getting unauthorised access to sensitive data.
Access to sensitive data helps organisations to enhance the production and management processes. However, majority of the existing data-sharing mechanisms are either susceptible to different cyber-attacks or heavy in terms of computation overhead.
In this paper, a privacy-preserving data-sharing scheme for smart utilities is proposed. First, a customer’s privacy adjustment mechanism is proposed to make sure that end-users have control over their privacy, which is required by the latest government regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation.
Secondly, a local differential privacy-based mechanism is proposed to ensure privacy of the end-users by hiding real data based on the end-user preferences. The proposed scheme may be applied for different industrial control systems, whereas in this study, it is validated for energy utility use case consisting of smart intelligent devices. The results show that the proposed scheme may guarantee the required level of privacy with an expected relative error in utility.
This work was carried out by Veniamin Boiarkin, Dr. Bruno Bogaz Zarpelao, Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan, Professor Rajkumar Roy and Dr. Katy Tapper of City, University of London, United Kingdom and the State University of Londrina, Brazil.
Download “Report - Local differential privacy-based data-sharing scheme for smart utilities”Report-Data-privacy-and-cyber-security.pdf – Downloaded 215 times – 1.67 MB
Working from home, or telework, has been rising in the past 20 years, but large-scale adoption of this practice was never really embraced by the majority of UK employers. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic ‘flicked a switch’ overnight, and all workers who were able to work remotely were compelled and facilitated to do so, through digital technologies.
Whilst many people who worked from home during the pandemic, many others found themselves with a lack of appropriate workspace, or experienced a sense of social isolation. As the pandemic subdued, patterns of work have evolved into more complex patterns of hybrid working.
The benefits and disadvantages of working remotely remain in this dichotomy of place – home or the office – yet new workspaces, such as coworking spaces (CWSs) offer a third option. Indeed, the growth of coworking spaces has grown significantly across the world since the pandemic, not only in cities, but also in the suburbs, towns and rural villages.
Other countries (across Europe and the USA) have recognised the potential of CWSs, to help deliver economic growth and develop places beyond their core cities. They have begun to develop explicit policies to support remote working from these places. However, there is a noticeable absence of this type of discussion in UK policy and the question is, why? Are they not popular in such areas of the UK, are they different to city-based CWSs, in what ways? What are the implications for the areas they are located in?
Our pilot study of CWSs in a number of provincial areas in England examined what CWSs in these areas look like, what they do, what are their governance structures and the potential they hold for raising entrepreneurship and business growth beyond core-cities. We interviewed owners, managers and users of CWSs; Chambers of Commerce, local councils, local enterprise partnerships. We made observations of a variety of CWSs types, business models and identified the range of their activities they undertook to support their local areas. We listened to how they were faring, their relationships with each other and other local bodies. Our findings are summarised in two reports. Whilst designed to sit as separate briefs, there is complementary in what they cover, and benefit from being read together.
The first report “The rapid rise of rural co-working in England: sharing experiences for mutual learning” is a briefing for industry. It identifies the activities undertaken across a range of CWSs and collates them to provide insights and suggestions to other CWS owners and managers about the best practices we observed, so that these might be considered by those who do not currently adopt them and strengthen the role of their CWS to its local economy further.
The second report “The potential of coworking spaces to stimulate local growth outside of major cities” is a briefing to local and national policymakers. It identifies more specifically, the contribution CWSs can make to various levels of community: the community within the CWS, the local business community around it, and the wider social community in which they reside. It also identifies areas in which the government could offer more support. The potential value CWSs bring to each level of community means they deserve to have greater attention from local and national policymakers as they grapple with how to stimulate local growth and prosperity across the UK.
This research was conducted by Dr. Felicia M Fai, Dr. Mariachiara Barzotto and Professor Phil Tomlinson, from the School of Management at the University of Bath.
Download “Report - The rapid rise of rural coworking in England: sharing experiences for mutual learning”Industry-briefing-Co-working-spaces-1.pdf – Downloaded 608 times – 707.21 KB
Download “Report - The potential of coworking Spaces to stimulate local growth outside of major cities”Policy-briefing-Co-working-spaces-2.pdf – Downloaded 452 times – 1.48 MB
As we embark on the next stage of our industrial evolution, digitalisation will shape the future of our economy, manufacturing ecosystem, and workplace. Digital technologies can enable us to create the future we want and move beyond consumption driven economic growth.
Our challenge is to create a digital manufacturing future that meets our net-zero ambitions, whilst being resilient and productive. Thus, ensuring that everyone has the things that they need, at a price that they can afford, without damaging the environment or society.
To create the digital manufacturing future we want, we first need to know how that can be achieved, we need to explore the possible and work together to realise these goals. In order to combine our expertise from the broadest range of perspectives around this common goal, we need to InterAct.
How did the InterAct conference benefit attendees?
- Gaining actionable human insights into the future manufacturing environment.
- Networking and building relationships with cross-sector experts interested in creating a positive, forward-thinking vision for UK industry.
- Building narrative development skills to enhance the reach of messaging in the digital environment.
- The opportunity to take part in a collaborative workshop on the theme ‘How do we create the digital manufacturing futures we want to see, together’.
- Engagement with a panel of highly regarded speakers from the world of manufacturing, policy, and academia during an interactive Q&A session.
We were delighted to welcome a roster of world-leading speakers, who shared unique insights and perspectives on their areas of expertise in relation to the theme of ‘Creating the digital manufacturing future we want’.
Our speakers were drawn from a wide range of backgrounds across industry, policy, think-tanks, and academia. Together they represent a diverse collection of voices that we want to draw into the wider conversation about what it will take to build a future that delivers for everyone.
Download “InterAct Conference sketches”InterAct-Conference-Sketches.pdf – Downloaded 188 times – 6.17 MB
Chief Executive – Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
Peter is the CEO of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and People Development. Since January 2019, he has been co-chair of The Flexible Working Task Force, a partnership across government departments, business groups, trade unions and charities, to increase the uptake of flexible working. He is also Chair of Engage for Success and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.
Peter writes and speaks widely on the development of HR, the future of work, and the key issues of leadership, culture and organisation, people and skills. In 2021, his second book ‘The New World of Work’ was published, exploring the many factors shaping work, workplaces, workforces and our working lives, and the principles around which we can build a future that is good for people, for business and for societies.
Prior to joining the CIPD in 2012 Peter was Chair of the Institute of Leadership and Management, an Executive Fellow at London Business School, and held a number of Board level roles. He had a long career in consulting at Accenture working with organisations around the world, and in his last seven years there was Global Managing Director for the firm’s human capital and organisation consulting practice.
He is a Fellow of the CIPD, a Fellow of AHRI (the Australian HR Institute), the Royal Society of Arts, and the Academy of Social Sciences. He’s also a Companion of the Institute of Leadership and Management, the Chartered Management Institute, and the British Academy of Management. He holds honorary doctorates from Bath University, Kingston University and Birmingham City University, and is a Visiting Professor at Aston University.
Executive Director – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Industrial Performance Center
Ben Armstrong is the executive director and a research scientist at MIT’s Industrial Performance Center, where he co-leads the Work of the Future initiative. His research and teaching examine how workers, firms, and regions adapt to technological change. His current projects include a working group on generative AI and its impact on work, as well as a book on American manufacturing competitiveness. He received his PhD from MIT and formerly worked at Google Inc.
Speaker – Future of the Economy
Chief Economist – JLL
David is Chief Economist EMEA at JLL, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services companies. At JLL, David advises the firm’s leadership and its clients on how the economy is evolving and the impact it will have on real estate. Prior to JLL, David spent six years as Chief Economist at Jaguar Land Rover and also led the company’s work to prepare for Brexit. He has previously held other economist positions at Capital Economics, RBS, and the Bank of Sierra Leone.
Professor Vania Sena
Speaker – Future of the Economy
InterAct Network – Future of the Economy: Principal Investigator
Chair in Entrepreneurship and Enterprise – University of Sheffield
Professor Sena’s first degree was awarded with laude by the University of Naples, Federico II, Naples, Italy; her postgraduate studies in Economics were carried out at the University of York, UK, where she was awarded both the MSc and the DPhil in Economics.
Her research focuses mainly on productivity growth, both at the micro and macro level with an emphasis on innovation, human capital and intellectual property. Her most recent research looks at the relationship among innovation activities,trade secrets and total factor productivity. She is a member of the Operational Society General Council and Board. She has been a visiting fellow at Harvard University, MA and at Rutgers University, NJ.
Vania is leading the InterAct workstream ‘The Future of the Economy’, which is examining the impact that the uptake of industrial digital technology in manufacturing will have on the wider economy and the implications of of this.
Dr. Adrienne Houston
Speaker – Future of Work
Company Director – Eurovacuum
Dr Adrienne Houston is Company Director at Eurovacuum Products Ltd. She is a Mechanical Engineering specialising in high vacuum and low pressure compressor systems and vacuum evaporator for the biogas, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
To complement her professional work, Adrienne is a keen promoter and champion of women in engineering, diversity and inclusion. In 2019 she was appointed by the Royal Academy of Engineering for the role of Diversity and Inclusion Visiting Professor at the University of Birmingham. She is a board member at the Research, Information and Knowledge committee at the Engineering Professors Council and Honorary Visiting Design Professor at the School of Engineering, University of Leicester.
Professor Jillian MacBryde
Speaker – Future of Work
InterAct Network Co-director
Professor of Innovation and Operations Management – University of Strathclyde
Jill MacBryde is Professor of Innovation and Operations Management at Strathclyde University where she is also Director of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship. Jill is Co-Director of the ESRC Made Smarter Network Plus, InterAct network, which aims to bring insights from the social sciences to support the innovation and diffusion of digital technologies that will result in a stronger, more resilient, manufacturing base.
The theme throughout Jill’s work is operations management in changing environments and her current research projects include productivity in manufacturing, the impact of Covid on UK manufacturing, and the future of manufacturing work. Jill also works with policy makers and the public sector. She is currently a member of the Innovate UK/ESRC Innovation Caucus and a member of the Innovate UK Future Flight Advisory Board.
Speaker – Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems
Senior Business Analyst – Aerogility
Matt is an energetic and passionate leader who joined Aerogility with over 16 years’ experience in defence aerospace, primarily within support engineering and manufacturing. Matt’s specialisms include capturing and shaping complex customer requirements, designing and developing deliverable solutions and translating technical problems to non-technical individuals. Matt has extensive experience working with international customers and colleagues to deliver value to their operations. Matt’s current role sees him working across a variety of sectors to deliver innovative, model-based AI solutions to enable customers to better operate, sustain and optimise platforms, services and infrastructure.
Speaker – Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems
Managing Director – Hexagon Consultants
Sue Williams is a strategic and focused Supply Chain Director with over 25 years’ experience in multiple industries including automotive, aerospace, defence and FMEG as well as aftermarket and aftercare support. Sue’s specialisms include supply chain design and modelling, inventory planning, demand management, S&OP and supply planning. Sue has worked with organisations such as Jaguar Land Rover, Dyson, GKN and Meggitt among others, to deliver sustainable, high value change to their supply chains. Sue was also the Head of Supply Chain for the Vaccine Taskforce, responsible for supply chain risk and resilience and the inbound modelling and planning for the vaccine supply.
Speaker – Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems
Martin Bach’s background is in process engineering and manufacturing management. He has extensive business management experience in the UK, Europe and the US, running a wide range of businesses in the automotive and industrial sectors. Most recently he was Managing Director of Cooksongold, the UK’s leading supplier of jewellery making materials and products.
Professor Janet Godsell
Speaker – Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems
Jan Godsell is Dean of Loughborough Business School and Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy at Loughborough University. Her work focuses on the pursuit of more responsible consumption and production through the alignment of product, marketing, and supply chain strategy with consumer needs. Jan’s work focuses on the design of end-to-end supply chains to enable, responsibility, sustainability, resilience and productivity.
Jan is the workstream lead for ‘The Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems’. This will examine how to develop more sustainable manufacturing business models, supply chains, and the role of innovative digital technologies (IDTs) in facilitating this shift.
Head of Business Innovation – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) UK
Ved is passionate about the impact of technology on business, culture, and society. He enjoys speaking and writing about technology and the future. He writes a weekly innovation newsletter, and is a regular speaker at industry forums. He has been a guest lecturer at the HSE Ireland Masters in Digital Healthcare Programme in Dublin for the past 3 years, and a regular speaker on AI and future systems.
Ved works as the Head of Business Innovation for Tata Consultancy Services UK. His primary focus is to help drive future thinking conversations with clients in solving tomorrow’s problems. He has been working with and advising senior clients across retail, travel, education, healthcare, financial services, public sector, and other businesses. Ved runs an innovation team in London and is leading the design and set up of Pace Port London. Currently his work spans areas such as reinventing social care for the elderly, connected homes and environments, and urban mobility, Generative AI, and more. Over the past 20+ years, Ved has been working on emerging technologies, and their adoption into organisations. An avid writer and regular speaker, Ved’s book “Doing Digital” was released in January 2023, and he writes a regular innovation newsletter.
Senior Economist – Make UK
Fhaheen Khan is a Senior Economist at Make UK, the manufactures organisation. His role primarily focusses on monitoring and evaluating the economic performance of manufacturers, which is published in a quarterly outlook report. In addition, Fhaheen’s role covers a myriad of topics relevant to manufacturing to advise Government bodies to develop policy with a focus on tax, investment and the business environment and is a regular commentator on public statistics.
Deputy Director – Made Smarter Innovation Challenge
Ben is the Deputy Director of the Innovate UK-led £300 million Made Smarter Innovation Challenge; a collaboration between UK government and industry designed to support the development and novel application of industrial digital technologies.
Prior to this, Ben held positions at HiETA Technologies, Airbus Group, University of Bath and Cobham. He is also founder of Added Lightness, a technology strategy consulting business, and Atherton Bikes, which brings together multiple-world champion and world cup winning athletes with the latest composite and additive manufacturing technologies.
Disruption, digital innovation, new business models… the world of manufacturing is changing rapidly, perhaps faster than ever before. To adapt and survive, businesses must anticipate changes, identify opportunities and make informed decisions.
So, how can you be ready for the changes that lie ahead? How can you pivot to be equally productive and sustainable, delivering progress with purpose?
The InterAct Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems research team has put together a vital report that brings you the information you need, at your fingertips, outlining potential future scenarios and the associated opportunities for the manufacturing world.
Future of Digital Marketing Ecosystems – 2040 Scenarios
These scenarios map out four potential alternatives for the digital manufacturers of tomorrow:
- Productivity Powerhouse
- Flexibility as Standard
- Sustainability Champion
- Happy and Sustainable Workforce
Download the report to find out more about how the most useful measure of sustainable progress is total factor productivity, which accounts for inputs beyond labour – such as materials, energy and administrative time – to compare them against total outputs. You will also learn how these inputs can be measured against one another, and how businesses can begin working towards achieving them.
As the report shows, by considering the human factors behind digitalisation today, you’ll be much better placed to build true resilience into your business tomorrow.
This research was conducted by Dr. Wanrong Zhang, Professor Janet Godsell and Dr. Kamran Chatha of Loughborough Business School.
Download “Report - Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems: 2040 scenarios”Report-2040-Scenarios.pdf – Downloaded 435 times – 5.95 MB
With the enactment of the new EU Battery Regulations, organisations are required to embrace Battery Passports and Smart Labelling, enabling transparency and sustainability in battery production and consumption. Recent research from InterAct funded researchers, however, highlights critical gaps in awareness, information availability, and operational readiness faced by UK organisations in aligning with these legislative changes.
A representative survey was conducted to gauge the awareness and preparedness of 80 organisations in regard to the new EU Battery Regulations. An Industry-Academic round table discussion and follow-up interviews were then held to reflect on the implications for industry. The results can be downloaded in the two reports below.
This research was conducted by Dr. Melanie King and Paul Timms of Loughborough University.
We are at a crossroads, with the opportunity either to progress towards a more equitable manufacturing landscape or to deepen existing gaps. The digitalisation of manufacturing provides a chance to transform the sector into a more inclusive and diverse one. However, if we do not take intentional and proactive steps, this digital transformation could instead reinforce prevailing norms and deepen gender inequalities.
The project ‘Women in digital manufacturing’ brought together academics and practitioners to raise awareness about the challenges that women face when participating in manufacturing, while highlighting the transformative potential of digital technologies in creating a more diverse and inclusive manufacturing sector.
This policy brief aims to inspire and inform gender-transformative initiatives that challenge unequal gender relations and discriminatory norms and practices within the manufacturing sector. It offers insights into the state of women’s and men’s participation in manufacturing, and through the narratives of accomplished professionals in the field, it unveils the barriers that women face to enter and advance in this sector. The policy brief offers practical recommendations for businesses, industry associations, and research and government organisations to promote gender diversity and inclusion within the UK manufacturing sector.
This research was conducted by Dr. Jennifer Castañeda-Navarrete, Cambridge Industrial Innovation Policy, IfM Engage, University of Cambridge.
Download “Policy brief - The case for a gender-transformative digitalisation”Women-in-Manufacturing-policy-brief.pdf – Downloaded 590 times – 3.97 MB