The Year Ahead
2016 promises to be an exciting year for everyone involved in manufacturing as we continue to embrace new technologies, new business models and changing customer expectations - as well as the increasingly pressing need to run businesses in a way which will preserve our planet for future generations.
These developments represent opportunities to reap significant rewards but making the most of them is not straightforward. Our aim is to help you capitalise on all this change and thrive in a very competitive environment. With expertise in areas such as 3D printing, nanomaterials, big data, IoT, global operations networks, technology and innovation management, new business models and the national and international policy context, we are uniquely placed to do just that.
Here are just a few of the things we’ve got coming up:
|Innovation and Technology Management|
Developing new products, services and processes is vital to profitable – and sustainable – growth. But the rate at which new technologies are emerging and the increasing costs of development make this a challenging task. In July, we will be hosting a major R&D management conference at which academics from around the world will come together to address some of the fundamental issues underpinning the successful management and exploitation of R&D. The conference will include an ‘industry track’ with keynote presentations from leading industrialists.
|Global Manufacturing and Supply Networks|
Our research in this area will explore how multinational companies can move towards increasingly connected, smarter, digitally-enabled supply chains. We will be looking particularly at how new process and infrastructure technologies can deliver more personalised products, more sustainably and with more agility through local manufacture and supply. Please join us at the 20th Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium in September where we will be discussing all this and more with senior executives from some of the world’s most successful companies.
|Making the shift to services|
Research in the Cambridge Service Alliance explores how firms are using technology (especially data-enabled technologies) to revolutionise their business models, focusing much more on customer outcomes and solutions. Through 2016 we’ll be studying how to scale up services and solutions, how to make best use of big data to enhance customer experiences and how best to understand industry ecosystems and the associated opportunities to create and capture value. Join us at Cambridge Service Week to hear more about this work or at the Shift to Service two-day executive workshop on 16-17 March where we will be exploring how best to make the shift to services.
|Understanding the UK’s high value manufacturing landscape|
We are currently working on a major landscaping exercise commissioned by Innovate UK to understand the opportunities and establish priorities for manufacturing in the UK. The project is looking particularly at areas where investment in manufacturing capabilities can be maximised by co-ordinating the efforts of delivery agencies. The results will be made available later this year. Watch this space. You can find out more about our approaches to national landscaping here.
We also run a wide range of open and in-company courses to help you develop your organisation’s capabilities in key areas of IfM expertise.
We hope to see you at some of our conferences and courses. In the meantime may I wish you a very happy and productive 2016 on behalf of all of us at the IfM.
Professor Andy Neely
Head, Institute for Manufacturing
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