New thinking about manufacturing
Technology, regulation and a culture of safety all have a role to play as part of a joined-up approach, says Lili Jia.
As the importance of digital twins grows, most companies still have work to do to fully capitalise on their use.
Cost-effective, off-the-shelf technologies are helping manufacturing SMEs to transform into highly efficient, digitally enabled businesses.
Michael De Volder tells us how a Friday afternoon experiment led to research on a new low-cost battery design that can be charged directly by light without a separate solar cell or power converter.
Interaction between robots and humans will become an important feature of the industrial workplace of the future. But what sort of impact will this have on society — and what will that mean for how the technology evolves? The IfM’s Cyber-Human Lab takes a look.
IfM researchers have demonstrated – for the first time – the digital inkjet printing and self-organisation of microdroplets on fluid surfaces to create structures of functional materials.
Ajith Parlikad, head of the Asset Management research group at the IfM, tells Jason Naselli about his new research project piloting 5G applications at the port of Felixstowe, and how the potential benefits can boost the UK economy.
Jag Srai explores the biggest global supply chain challenges as we look toward vaccinating the world — and riding out the peaks and troughs of supply and demand as economies reopen.
As the UK prepares to launch a new high-risk, high-reward research agency, Eoin O'Sullivan discusses what it can learn from the ARPA model in the US and globally, and why technology and innovation management is the key to success.
Printing electronics into ceramic building materials could offer a functional and aesthetic way to bring solar energy into structures, and encourage the adoption of environmental sensors in buildings.
This report – led by the new University Commercialisation and Innovation Policy Evidence Unit with support from the UK National Centre for Universities and Business – investigates the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability of universities to contribute to innovation through the crisis and into the economic recovery.
The UK Innovation Report benchmarks the UK’s industrial and innovation performance in a global context. It brings together, for the first time in a single place, innovation and value-added indicators in a concise and accessible format.
New business models are essential to unlocking the economic growth potential of digital technologies, and offer a way out of rising debt-to-GDP ratios.
Nicky Athanassopoulou, Head of Solution Development at IfM Education and Consultancy Services, offers insights into how companies can make the most out of new and emerging technologies.
In this webinar, guest speaker Professor John Clarkson, explains how systems thinking from engineering can be applied to almost any complex challenge, and discuss specific outcomes from his work on the Royal Academy of Engineering project ‘Engineering Better Care’.
As COVID-19 battered Britain’s economy and threatened to overwhelm the NHS, many small- and medium-sized manufacturing firms regrouped, repurposed and provided the vital materials the country needed. How did they do it, and when a new crisis arises, could they do it again?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to the importance of manufacturing. In order to ‘emerge stronger’ from the crisis, the UK must now act more strategically and harness industrial innovation to serve ambitious agendas for the economy and the environment.
When crisis hits and critical products are in short supply, the risk of recalls rises as corners are cut in production. But when these products are needed to save lives, recall isn’t the best option.
The availability of 3D printers, laser cutters and other digital fabrication tools has led to the rise of the Maker Movement, a growing community with a DIY approach to design and production. As the COVID-19 crisis hit the UK, these ‘makers’ sprang into action. Their response has revealed the potential for innovation among the general public — but also the limitations of an informal network and a lack of standardisation.
Manufacturing firms have had a rocky 2020, yet some have not only survived but thrived, re-organising and experimenting with their operations during the pandemic. Jag Srai explains how businesses can learn from the 'survival of the fittest firms'.
In this webinar, experts from the IfM, Royal Papworth Hospital and Cambridge Design Partnership discuss how they developed a device that, if needed in an emergency, could be attached to a ventilator to enable two COVID-19 patients to receive tailored respiratory support.
Tim Minshall, Dr John C Taylor Professor of Innovation and Head of the Institute for Manufacturing, shares an overview of how teams of Cambridge engineers have helped the local, national and international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we can use the lessons learned to support a strong and sustainable recovery.
How manufacturing can emerge stronger: Policies to support industrial recovery and growth after COVID-19
This briefing note examines key policy instruments aimed at supporting the recovery and future growth of manufacturing industries in the wake of COVID-19.
Three teams of students from the MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management course at the Institute for Manufacturing worked with the NHS on issues including testing processes, oxygen supply mapping and patient flow modelling during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This webinar gives an overview of research demonstrating how organisations can use widely available, low-cost technology to provide greater protection to employees as they return to work.
This webinar provides insights based on the experience and modelling efforts of Addenbrookes Hospital, based in Cambridge (UK), to predict local hospital admissions, model patient flows through the hospital and estimate subsequent use of resources.
Seven years ago, Professor Steve Evans helped to write a major report for Whitehall on the future of British manufacturing and sustainability. In the wake of COVID-19, he looks back on the predictions and what the future looks like today for policy makers and executives.
As people across the UK gradually return to offices, a widely available, low-cost technology can help business protect their employees and ensure a COVID-safe workplace, write Dr Veronica Martinez and Dr Mahsa Honary.
Leading experts advise how businesses can best prepare for the months and years ahead, and any future disruption that may come.
In this webinar Steve Evans revisits the 'Future of UK Manufacturing' predictions from 2013 and looks ahead to the big changes and challenges that are now shaping our industrial future.
At this IfM Briefing, leading experts from the Institute for Manufacturing draw lessons from the response of firms and governments to the COVID-19 pandemic, and look at how the manufacturing industry is likely to change and adapt in the months and years ahead.
Worker assistance systems are becoming increasingly intelligent, interactive and supportive. But do they have a future on the shop floor? Mirco Möncks, Elisa Roth and Dr Thomas Bohné from the IfM's Cyber-Human Lab share insights from a recent study on stakeholders’ perspectives on assistive technology in manufacturing.
In this webinar, experts cover the IfM’s 'make-or-buy' approach which helps organsiations determine what activities to undertake or develop in-house, undertake with partners, outsource or deliver through acquisition.
In the wake of the economic jolt of the coronavirus, Nazia Habib explains how policy simulation labs can help developing economies chart a path to recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing massive disruptions to flows of foreign direct investment. Jostein Hauge and Adnan Seric explain why developing countries are likely to be hit the hardest.
Artificial intelligence offers huge potential for supply chains, but there are a lack of practical examples to demonstrate how data-driven approaches can be implemented effectively. Alexandra Brintrup explains how her research addresses this gap, and reveals valuable lessons for organisations.
Carlos López-Gómez addresses the myths surrounding the weakness of UK supply chains in the coronavirus crisis, and explains what must be done for UK supply chains to emerge stronger.
In this webinar, experts from the IfM cover how organisations can use strategic tools including roadmapping and scenario planning to plan in a rapidly changing business landscape.
IfM in-house facilitators Dr Imoh Ilevbare and Dr Diana Khripko share their experience and insights on how they design online workshops that achieve the desired outcomes for our partners.
Amid the COVID-19 emergency, policy makers are calling for manufacturing firms to temporarily repurpose their production to make critical supplies such as masks, ventilators and test kits. Building on a recent study from the Policy Links Unit, this article reviews some of the challenges involved in repurposing and potential ways to mitigate them.
Tim Minshall, head of the IfM, looks at the many challenges of matching offers of support from the manufacturing community with the dynamic and uncertain needs of the healthcare system.
Kate Willsher, COO of IfM Education and Consultancy Services, presents a rapid method developed at the Institute for Manufacturing to assess the opportunity and feasibility of new business initiatives.
A new paper from IfM and University of Cambridge researchers explores how to avoid IP-related delays in the pandemic response.
This study, developed by the IfM's Policy Links Unit for Indonesia's Ministry of Finance and the Asian Development Bank, explores policy options to facilitate Indonesia’s technological transformation and unlock its economic growth potential.
Supply chain collaboration at local and international levels will be crucial in the months ahead, but ultimately COVID-19 will result in a rethinking of our reliance on global supply chains, in favour of more resilient and more local production.
This executive briefing, an output from the ReMediES (Reconfiguring Medicines End-to-end Supply) project, covers key elements of supply chain risk specifically linked to the management of pharmaceuticals.
This report shares insights from a recent roundtable discussion convened by the Babbage Forum exploring the future of the manufacturing workforce, with perspectives from OECD, UNIDO, UNCTAD and the World Economic Forum.
Dr Alexandra Brintrup shares key learnings from recent practical examples demonstrating how AI and data analytics can be used in supply chains to reduce disruption and improve efficiency.
Professor Duncan McFarlane provides an update on the progress of this high-profile project, developing low-cost digital solutions for SME manufacturers, with examples of some of the components developed so far.
Student industry projects in host companies are a central component of the IfM's education programmes. Dr Judith Shawcross explains how and why these projects provide such strong skills development.
Dr Carlos López-Gómez and Dr David Leal-Ayala from the IfM’s Policy Links Unit discuss international evidence on the opportunities and barriers to capturing value from digital technologies in manufacturing.
Supply chain transparency and traceability is becoming essential in the food sector, but how can companies create value from this necessity? Dr Mukesh Kumar and Rob Glew share a case study on a transformative initiative by AMT Fresh.
In this webinar Florian Urmetzer explores how looking to your business ecosystem can offer opportunities to draw in the resources and capabilities needed to meet the demands of end-customers.
Dr Jag Srai and Dr Paul Christodoulou provide insights into the Digital Supply Chains Consortium's work, including developing decision criteria for incremental or radical transformations.
E-commerce has completely changed the way we shop. But how sustainable is it? We interviewed Dr Jag Srai to find out more about the impact of online food shopping.
This study aims to promote better knowledge of the safety and security risks and requirements deriving from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in order to design concrete implementation plans for industry stakeholders to adopt 4IR technologies confidently through pilot studies.
Intellectual property (IP) is a major asset for most companies, from entrepreneurial ventures through to multinationals. Dr Frank Tietze unpicks IP strategy development for start-ups and growing companies.
In this article, Professor Duncan McFarlane introduces a new research project into low-cost digital solutions for manufacturing SMEs.
The objective of this report is to inform policy efforts, aimed at promoting industrial innovation and competitiveness, by providing insights into international policy practices and approaches. The report discusses key concepts and definitions relevant to understanding the role of domestic suppliers in modern industries, reviews programmes and initiatives in selected countries, and suggests policy implications for the UK.
Offers a structured process, reviewing all relevant factors, to help the choice between producing 'in-house' and using an outside supplier. (2001, Spiralbound, 68 pages)
- 3D printing
- Advanced manufacturing
- Big Data and the new analytics
- Business model innovation
- Business strategy & performance
- Business tools
- Design for transformation
- Developing people
- Digital manufacturing
- Ecosystem mapping
- Global supply chains
- Innovation and IP management
- Managing risk
- Manufacturing a better world
- Manufacturing matters
- Open Innovation
- Strategic asset management
- Technology and innovation policy
- Technology management