Insights From History On The New Industrial Revolution

Date: 8 November 2022
Time: 9:45 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Aston University Aston Street Birmingham B4 7ET / Online

Join one of our InterAct funded systematic review teams at Aston University on November 8th to explore the question of how history can pave the way to the next industrial revolution.

Industrial Digital Technologies hold the key to achieving productivity, sustainability and resilience in challenging times. While digital technologies are new, the difficulties that digital technology adoption brings manufacturing firms are not. In each previous industrial transition – mechanisation, electrification, computerisation – some of the biggest difficulties have been human, or commercial, not technical. This hybrid event will present perspectives from industry, policy and academia on the current industrial challenges. It is an opportunity to reflect and learn how historical cases can help achieve success with digital transformation.

The event is part of an interdisciplinary research project funded by ESRC under the Made Smarter InterAct Network. The research team consisting of Ahmad Beltagui (Aston Business School), Brian Sudlow (Aston School of Social Science & Humanities) and Miying Yang (Cranfield School of Management) is researching historical industrial transitions to uncover actionable insights for industry concerned with the human side of digital technology.

Innovating Profitable Manufacturing Supply Chains with Resilience

Date: 25 October 2022
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Online

There is a growing need for more intelligent and holistic planning tools that ensure feasible and profitable Supply Chain plans.

Supply Chain leaders are being required to ensure the profitability of their supply chains while remaining resilient to disruption. A challenging balancing act at the best of times.

Register for this webinar, where you will hear from InterAct Co-director Janet Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy at Loughborough University, and John Burdett, previously Supply Chain Director at Tata Global Beverages, to find out how:

  • Supply Chains can flex their supply without adding costs by increasing insight into supply capability
  • Businesses can leverage flexibility through suppliers and partners
  • Better use of data can create more adaptive Supply Chain Planning through more Intelligent Planning decisions.

If you can't make the webinar at this time, please register anyway and a recording will be shared with you after.

Future of Work – Consultation Webinar

Date: 10 October 2022
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Online

We often hear about how new technological advancements will transform jobs in the manufacturing sector, but what does this mean for the future of work on an individual and collective level? Part of the challenge facing UK manufacturers is understanding how today’s jobs and skills will lend themselves to new opportunities created by the implementation of these new advanced technologies.

The pace of technological change raises many interesting questions for academics, policy makers and employers:

  • How can the sector prepare people to work alongside new technologies, robots, and co-bots?
  • What are the essential skills for future manufacturing workplaces and how can we enable these through training and education?
  • How can advanced technologies help generate and embed new ways of working by opening up career opportunities for otherwise hard-to-reach groups such as women, minorities, older workers and disabled people?

The InterAct Team at Strathclyde University Business School is hosting an online session for those interested in these issues to share their views in an open discussion of these issues. We welcome you to join us at 2pm, 10 October to find out more and join the debate.

Innovation Caucus Members’ Event

Date: 13 September 2022
Time: 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Location: The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

The Innovation Caucus is delighted to be holding its first in-person members’ event in two years. We invite you to reconnect, share ideas and gain insights into the current policy planning through discussions with our UKRI research council partners. Join us at the Royal Geographical Society on 13 September to network with policy makers and academic colleagues and discuss current challenges to sustaining the future of innovation and enterprise.

KTN Webinar Series: Introducing the Research Centres & Innovation Hubs – InterAct

Date: 25 October 2022
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Location: Online

The future of manufacturing is dependent on successful digitalization, but UK manufacturers struggle with their investments in digitalization. This threatens lost business opportunities and missed innovation cycles. What can we learn about digital technology adoption from history? As part of the InterAct network, an interdisciplinary team from Aston and Cranfield Universities is reviewing historical cases of industrial transitions. By identifying cases related to mechanisation, electrification and computerisation, we aim to support the successful adoption of industrial digital technology for the digitalisation of manufacturing.

Simultaneously, another team from Aston University is using a systematic literature review method to identify the range of technological, organisational, and social barriers that inhibit effective digital investments and how manufacturers should overcome these. The webinar will present the findings of the research and outline how future research could support UK manufacturers with their digital investment challenges, as well as showcase the work being undertaken to bring historical technology adoption stories to life, to help address the human side of digitalisation.

InterAct Annual Conference 2022

Date: 3 October 2022
Time: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Location: IET Savoy Place, London

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. To combine our expertise from the broadest range of perspectives around this common goal. We need to InterAct.

By joining the inaugural InterAct conference, you are becoming part of the movement for change. Actionable insights from 12 leading experts will provide the building blocks for change. Participants will further shape these through a storytelling workshop and co-creation of a series of ‘critical questions’, which will be posed to our expert panel.