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InterAct Conference 2022

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 future digital manufacturing ecosystem 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 future digital manufacturing ecosystem we want, we need to work together. In order to combine our expertise from the broadest range of perspectives around this common goal, we need to InterAct.

Find out more about the outcomes of our first annual conference below.

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.

Speakers

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.

View or download artwork of all talks below.

Sean Culey

Keynote Speaker

Futurist and author


Tamim Bayoumi

Keynote Speaker

Deputy Director at the International Monetary Fund


Kim Lloyd

Speaker – Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems

EMEA Director at SupplyVue


Professor John Hart

Speaker – Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems

Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT
Director, Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity


Jason Southern

Speaker – Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems

EMEA Head of Enterprise Software & Visualisation Segments at Nvidia


Bhavina Bharkada

Speaker – Future of Work

Head of Policy and Campaigns at Make UK


Troy Barratt

Speaker – Future of Work

Managing Director at BAMUK Group Ltd


Aimee Doole

Speaker – Future of Work

Strategy, Communications & Marketing Head at Booth Welsh


Professor Philip McCann

Speaker – Future of the Economy

Chair of Urban and Regional Economics at Alliance Manchester Business School.


Lord Jim O’Neill of Gatley

Speaker – Future of the Economy

Member of House of Lords, former Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs.


Katy Davies

Speaker – Future of the Economy

Managing Director at CamdenBoss Ltd


Chris Courtney

Panelist and Keynote Speaker

UKRI Challenge Director for Made Smarter Innovation


Clare Porter

Panelist

Head of Manufacturing Policy at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy


Fhaheen Khan

Panelist

Senior Economist at Make UK


Professor Jan Godsell

InterAct Co-director and host

Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University


Dr. Antonia Liguori

Storytelling and critical question formulation workshop lead

Senior Lecturer in Applied Storytelling


Agenda

09:00  Arrival and coffee
09:30Welcome and objectives
09:45Keynote speakers
Tamim Bayoumi
Chris Courtney
10:15Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems
Kim Lloyd
John Hart
Jason Southern
11:00   Break
11:30Future of Work
Troy Barratt
Aimee Doole
Bhavina Bharkada
12:15Future of the Economy
Katy Davies
Lord Jim O’Neill
Professor Philip McCann
13:00Lunch
13:45Keynote speaker
Sean Culey
14:00Storytelling and critical question formulation workshop
15:00Break
15:30‘Critical questions’ panel debate
Chris Courtney
Clare Porter
Troy Barratt
Katy Davies
16:20Closing comments
17:00Storytelling screening and drinks reception
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Resources

Insights from History – video introduction

By widening their field of vision through cases from history, this InterAct funded team from Cranfield and Aston Universities argue that today’s manufacturers have the chance during this digital transition to increase their appreciation of the potential risks and opportunities that lie ahead, and perhaps even stimulate creative solutions to them.

This historical case search revealed that there are dozens of issues that merit attention both within manufacturing operations (new safety questions, choices of innovation pathways, naivety about technical solutions) and outside of them (the power of location, globalization and culture, negative social consequences of innovation) which hardly figure on the lists of challenges for digitalization.

In this video, the team introduces the themes of their work and the topics which they have addressed in their various outputs.

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.

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Learning from histories: a systematic review of historical industrial transitions – report

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.

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.

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Insights from History: technological change in the mining industry – animated explainer

By widening their field of vision through cases from history, this InterAct funded team from Cranfield and Aston Universities argue that today’s manufacturers have the chance during this digital transition to increase their appreciation of the potential risks and opportunities that lie ahead, and perhaps even stimulate creative solutions to them.

In this video, the team examines how small scale technological changes in the mining industry influenced the lives and capabilities of people employed in the sector, and how this is relevant today.

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.

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Making investments into digitalisation: the manufacturer’s perspective – animated explainer

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. This video outlines the specific challenges the manufacturing industry faces with 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.

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Making investments into digitalisation: the manufacturer’s perspective – mini-guide

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. This mini-guide outlines the specific challenges the manufacturing industry faces with 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.

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Digital investment for manufacturers: a literature review of challenges and good practices – report

Although the importance of digitalisation as a critical source of innovation and competitiveness among manufacturers is widely accepted, manufacturers struggle to make the necessary investments to capture these opportunities. To support manufacturers with their digitalisation journey, it is critical to develop a detailed understanding of the digital investment challenges manufacturers are facing and how they can be overcome.

This report provides the findings of a systematic review of the academic and grey literature carried out to establish the state of the art on what is known on the diverse organisational, technical and process challenges manufacturers are facing with their investment into digitalisation and the good practices that are available to address them. It also evaluates the current theoretical contributions and gaps in the existing literature to develop a research agenda to help researchers target and accelerate their future investigations on the digitalisation of the manufacturing industry.

This research was conducted by Dr Andreas Schroeder, Dr Yang Zhao and Dr Daniel Andrews of Aston University.

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Is your supply chain sustainable?

Sustainability in manufacturing is a hot topic. And rightly so – many manufacturers produce large amounts of waste, much of which the supply chain creates. Rather worryingly, our supply chains make up 60% of carbon emissions in the UK.

The UK government’s initiative to reach net zero by 2050, as well as the legal obligations under the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, is now well known. However, there is much, much more that can be done to reduce emissions – and digital technologies have a crucial role to play.

Click below to read more about the five best ways to promote sustainable practices within your supply chain.

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Welcome to the InterAct Network

Find out more about InterAct, our aims and how we’re helping to build a more sustainable, effective manufacturing future.

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Transform Fest 2022 – manufacturing panel discussion

InterAct Co-Director and Dean of Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics, Professor Janet Godsell, hosts a panel discussion on ‘Leading global manufacturing operations against the backdrop of a highly disrupted supply ecosystem’.