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21st Annual CIM Symposium - Globalisation 2.0
Rethinking supply chains in the new technological and political landscape
Thursday 28 to Friday 29 September 2017
The annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium is the chance to hear from world-leading business figures and thinkers on the challenges facing modern manufacturing.

The 21st annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium provides the chance to hear from world-leading business figures and thinkers on the challenges facing modern manufacturing. It is a unique event that brings together senior industrialists and leading academics to share approaches and experiences in this strategic domain.


The Symposium includes keynote speakers from the world’s leading companies and universities, mixed with informal networking opportunities. It aims to create a growing community of international manufacturing enthusiasts and to inspire ‘thought leadership’ in this exciting field.


The Symposium will address the following areas, with the first day having an industrial focus and day two exploring the latest research in the set themes.


Globalisation 2.0 and supply chain transformation

Globalisation of operations increases supply network complexities while de-globalisation trends pose a threat to product, information and financial flows. what are the predominant future supply chain archetypes and is supply chain integration part of the solution?


Digitally-enabled consumer-centric supply chains

We examine how the conceptualisation of digital supply chains is being used to inform new requirements for digital infrastructures and standards and the potential for connecting App & devise-aware consumers with their product manufacturing supply chains, including the latest global developments in e-commerce and last-mile logistics.


Digital supply chain design, analysis and operation

the emergence of digital technologies are driving innovations, in terms of 'products' and 'services'. This requires greater visibility, alignment and integration across an increasingly complex network of multiple partners, to deliver better 'service outcomes' and 'customer experience'. In this track we examine the implications of digitalisation on the design of future service supply networks.


Collaborative supply chain models, crowdsourcing, and the sharing economy

The emergence of major business-to-business players in the sharing economy are enabling businesses to share access to everything from collaborative capabilities to resources in the supply chain. We explore how sharing resources streamlines companies, enabling them to operate faster, and react quickly to market changes i a more efficient and effective manner.


East-West power balance: where next for emerging country MNCs?

What are the impacts of emerging countries and their emerging MNCs on the global economy and the configuration of manufacturing value chain activities worldwide? We will explore the latest results emerging from cross-sector studies across the BRICS and other emerging economies.


Reshoring and distributed manufacturing: new paradigms

Whilst reshoring and distributed manufacturing is capturing the interest of companies and researchers alike, it remains unclear as to the extent to which it is likely to replace traditional manufacturing models. We explore the enabling characteristics, challenges and opportunities. 


Technology-disrupted supply chains

This track explores how Big Data, Industrial Internet of Things and cloud computing will combine with alternative production processes such as continuous, additive, flexible/collaborative automation, as well as the use of driverless vehicles and drones. What new capabilities are required in terms of equipment, technology, systems, skills and attitudes?


Impact of sustainability and the circular economy
How can existing and novel approaches inform firms to best configure circular supply chain networks to achieve viability under the umbrella of the 'triple bottom line' of sustainability?


Risk and resilience of global supply networks
With cybersecurity risks growing, how do companies ensure that factory production systems or HVAC systems rise to the same level of computer protection to ensure cyber resilience? Many complex global supply chains lack transparency, companies do not know where the risks lie, or how to manage and mitigate them. How can we achieve complete visibility across all data at multiple tiers of the supply chain with the help of the right technologies and information systems?


Who should attend

Senior executives responsible for:

  • Manufacturing networks
  • Global supply chains
  • Operations strategy
  • Network reconfiguration procurement & sourcing logistics and customer service

Researchers working in the fields of:

  • Strategic & operations management
  • Design of manufacturing or service based networks
  • International business
  • Network capabilities
  • Sustainable & resilient network design


There will be ample opportunity for questions and informal discussion to enable delegates to assess the relevance of issues to their own sectors. An open forum at the end of the day will debate these issues and identify common themes and needs.


Recent industrial participants include

ABB, Aggreko, ALPS Electric (UK), APV, Arup, AstraZeneca, BAE Systems, Beiersdorf AG, Bombardier, BP Solar, Cadbury, Carl Zeiss, Caterpillar, Cisco, Danfoss, Diageo, Domino, Electrolux, Fujitsu-Siemens Group, GKN, GlaxoSmithKline, Grundfos, Hewlett Packard, Honeywell, Huawei, Jaguar Land Rover, Jeyes, Johnson Matthey, Kraft Foods, The LEGO Group, Linde, Mars, Maruti Suzuki, Morgan Crucible, Nestlé, P&G, Philips, Reckitt Benckiser, Rolls-Royce, Schneider Electric, Sealed Air, Shell, Siemens, Smiths Group, Unilever, Wärtsilä, Wavin, WABCO, Yamazaki.


Symposium organisers

The Symposium is organised and hosted by the Centre for International Manufacturing (CIM), one of several research centres within the University of Cambridge's Institute for Manufacturing (IfM).


For further information

Please contact: Dr Jag Srai, Centre Head, or Patrick Hennelly for detailed programme information:


The symposium is supported by


Innovate UK





Department for Science and Technology 

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