InterAct & Atlantic Technological University Summer School 2023

16 – 21 July 2023, Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland

Supporting the innovation and diffusion of Industrial Digital Technologies in UK manufacturing

Are you an Early Career Researcher (ECR) or a doctoral (PhD) student interested in human focused, interdisciplinary research into manufacturing and industrial digital technology?

Do you want to build your network of academic and industry contacts whilst engaging with important real-world issues and topics surrounding these industries?

In collaboration with Atlantic Technological University, InterAct is inviting applications from ECRs and PhD students from the economic and social sciences to attend our Summer School.

The Summer School will take place 16 – 21 July 2023 in Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland.

There will be up to 30 places available, and all accommodation, meals and sightseeing costs will be covered by InterAct.

Travel costs will not be covered. Please note passport and visa requirements to enter Ireland and travel options.


This residential Summer School will provide the opportunity for up to 30 UK-based ECRs and PhD students from the economic and social sciences to come together for five days to connect with peers and develop their academic networks.

They will gain insights from leading academics within the InterAct Network, sharing the aims, objectives, and ongoing research projects from within the core workstreams of the ‘Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems’, ‘Future of Work’ and ‘Future of the Economy.

InterAct is part of the Made Smarter Innovation (MSI) challenge which aims to help UK manufacturing become more productive and competitive through the innovation and diffusion of digital technology, and to support manufacturing to achieve Net Zero by 2050.

We hope that through this Summer School programme, you will become part of the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers and carry forward the InterAct aims and agenda as the manufacturing industry continues to develop, helping us to build a more sustainable, efficient, and positive future for the sector.


To be eligible, you must be either an ECR (including post-doctoral researchers and new/probationary lecturers) or a PhD student from any UK research organisation that is eligible to receive UKRI funding, typically academic institutions.

How to apply

To participate, you will need to complete an application form provided below. The completed application form and short CV should be emailed to

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 7 June 2023 at 17.00.

Notification of acceptance from InterAct will take place by 14 June 2023.

Please let us know at that stage via email if you have any dietary or access requirements.

Download “InterAct x ATU Summer School Brochure”

InterAct-x-ATU-Summer-School-Brochure.pdf – Downloaded 124 times – 7.46 MB

Download “InterAct – ATU – Summer School Application Form”

InterAct-ATU-Summer-School-Application-Form.docx – Downloaded 146 times – 203.04 KB

What is the purpose of InterAct?

Working alongside other partners within the wider MSI programme, we aim to build a strong, vibrant, interdisciplinary community where funding can be effectively distributed to researchers who will generate actionable economic and social science insights for the benefit UK businesses.

In a world faced with the looming threat of climate change, the InterAct Network will also support the efforts of UK manufacturing to achieve Net Zero by 2050.

Whilst technology is important, there are many social and economic factors that will be hugely influential in achieving these aims. The InterAct Network has two primary roles:

  1. Develop and support the creation of an effective digital innovation ecosystem to accelerate the innovation and diffusion of Industrial Digital Technologies (IDTs).
  2. Ensure that the full range and depth of social and economic science insights are accessed across the Made Smarter Innovation challenge and wider UK manufacturing sector.

Find out more about how we’re supporting MSI here.

About Atlantic Technological University

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) is one of the largest multi-campus universities in Ireland, serving a diverse group of learners, staff, communities, and organisations from the region and further afield. ATU offers a rich combination of academic and research excellence, quality of life and opportunity.

The ATU Donegal Letterkenny campus is in County Donegal, on the north-west coast of Ireland, an area renowned for its stunning beaches, welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, and low cost of living.
The Letterkenny campus is at heart of the university town. It includes over 18,000 square metres of educational and support accommodation with specialised teaching and research facilities. With a diverse range of transport links, the Letterkenny campus is easily accessible for national and international visitors. It offers a wide range of courses in engineering and technology, science and health and business at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

As a leading educational institution in the region, they are committed to building sustainable employment opportunities, and driving growth in the west and north-west through wide-ranging collaborative research projects.


The main objectives of this Summer School are:

  1. To develop a common knowledge base within the community of ECRs and PhD students on the current and future issues and opportunities around digital technology confronting the manufacturing sector.
  2. To help ECRs and PhD students in defining relevant research topics and understanding the complex and relevant links with other research streams.
  3. To foster the development of a network of young researchers in social science fields which can become a forum for exchanging ideas and building research collaboration concerning the manufacturing sector.
    The sessions will provide an overview of the knowledge and research already in progress across the InterAct Core Research themes:

    • Future of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems
    • Future of Work
    • Future of the Economy

The three themes provide a systems view: focusing not just on organisational level issues, but also on people and the wider economy. There will be speaker sessions, interactive round table discussions, as well as opportunities to share any developmental research ideas. These will be complemented by site visits to companies in the region who have embraced the potential of digital transformation through incorporating new technologies.


Sunday 16 JulyAfternoon/eveningRegistration and welcome reception – Mount Errigal Hotel
Monday 17 JulyMorningFuture of the Economy – Vania Sena
 AfternoonTata Consultancy Services visit
 EveningWelcome Dinner – Rathmullan House
Tuesday 18 JulyMorningFuture of Digital Manufacturing Ecosystems – Jan Godsell
 AfternoonFuture of Work – Colin Lindsay
 EveningDinner – Mount Errigal Hotel
Wednesday 19 JulyMorningCoca Cola Ballina visit
 AfternoonSkills session
 EveningDinner – Mount Errigal Hotel
Thursday 20 JulyAll daySightseeing Day
 EveningGala Dinner – Castle Grove Country House
Friday 21 JulyMorningPresentation
 MiddayClose and departure

Summer School Location and Facilities

The Summer School will be held at ATU, Donegal Letterkenny campus in Ireland.

County Donegal is a region in the north-west of Ireland that is one of the most beautiful in the country and well serviced with transport links, find out more about County Donegal.

Letterkenny is a thriving town and the major commercial and cultural hub of the region. Its population enjoys a great mix of fun, heritage, and leisure, ranging from excellent shopping and nightlife to well-established music and theatre venues, a multiplex cinema, and several cultural centres.

Residents also enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland. Magnificent coastline, beaches, and mountains, including Glenveagh National Park, are all within easy reach. They provide an amazing backdrop for all kinds of outdoor adventure and leisure activities such as golf, hill walking, cycling and water sports. ATU makes the most of these natural amenities by supporting a wide range of sports, leisure, and cultural activities for students or visitors.


Accommodation will be provided at the Mount Errigal Hotel in Ballyraine. Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland.

Single/double ensuite rooms for single occupancy will be provided.

Find out more on their website.

Travelling to Letterkenny

Travel costs will not be covered by InterAct.

Find out more about ways to travel to Letterkenny.

View maps and travel guidance for the ATU Letterkenny campus.

Please note passport and visa requirements to enter Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Visa requirements to enter Ireland.

Passport FAQs for travel between Britain and Ireland.