InterAct Systematic Reviews second funding round – successful projects announced

InterAct is pleased to announce the recipients of our second round of Systematic Review funding. These two projects are led by Dr. Dalila Ribaudo of Aston University and Dr. Nikolai Kazantsev of the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge. The projects will focus on topics relating to ‘Manufacturing in the metaverse’ and ‘Perceptions of manufacturing’.

Manufacturing in the metaverse: Conceptual model and future research directions

Principal Investigator:

Professor Chander Velu – Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge.

Lead researcher:

Dr. Nikolai Kazantsev – Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge.

Project Outline:

The industrial metaverse uses ‘virtual and augmented reality to blend the physical and digital worlds to transform how businesses design, manufacture and interact with objects’.

The project aims to provide a coherent interdisciplinary summary of established knowledge from academia and practice on the application and potential benefits of a metaverse in manufacturing, mainly focusing on bridging technical and social insights.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To clarify the terminology, technologies, and roles the metaverse can play in manufacturing.
  2. To derive the barriers, drivers and benefits of adopting the metaverse for individuals, firms, the manufacturing ecosystem and the economy.
  3. To summarise a conceptual model and outline future research directions of an industrial metaverse in manufacturing.

The industrial metaverse is often explored solely from a technological perspective despite being a fast-growing field of study in various domains. As a result, complex terms and concepts are misinterpreted by the industry, resulting in an overlapping stack of technologies and, therefore, unclear evidence of the application of the concept in manufacturing.

By investigating overlooked social and economic factors behind metaverse applications, the project aims unlock the virtual space for goods manufacturing and transaction, and discover how the interactions between firms and customers happen.

The team is open for collaborations on this research. Please contact if you are interested.

The purpose of a potential collaboration would be to better inform research on the positioning of the metaverse as a technological tool in manufacturing.

The team are keen to hear from:

  • Industrial partners who have already applied some elements of virtual reality or who want to do so soon, but are unclear on how to progress due to the perceived risks or unclear benefits of the technology.
  • This could be technology providers, such as Vuforia, Hololens (MST), Meta or creators of alternative augmented reality glasses.

How to make manufacturing charming again? It is everything, everywhere, all at once.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Dalila Ribaudo – Aston University


Dr. Guendalina Anzolin – University of Cambridge

Dr. Jennifer Castañeda-Navarrete – University of Cambridge

Project Outline:

The aim of this project is to conduct a comprehensive literature review of the perceptions of manufacturing, with a particular emphasis on international industrial strategies.

The team plans to analyse how perceptions of manufacturing have been changing across countries and how governments are taking actions to bring manufacturing back into the policy agenda. One of the main areas where this is happening is the adoption of digital technologies, a field where the changing features of manufacturing are evident.

For example, policy makers need to design industrial strategies that address both the increasingly higher requirement for skilled labour, and firms’ adoption of digital technologies, while also developing strategic sectors, such as semiconductors.

This study will reveal how countries prioritize manufacturing in the context of national and regional industrial strategies (i.e., for example with the levelling up agenda in the UK and the Innovation and Competition Act in the US.

There are four main topics the team will examine that can be linked to negative perceptions on manufacturing:

  1. It is believed to be a declining industry, replaced by services, especially in advanced economies.
  2. Manufacturing is a low-skilled and low-paying employment environment.
  3. Manufacturing is a dirty and polluting industry that harms the environment.
  4. Ideological as well as practical barriers for policymakers to provide sufficient attention to manufacturing.