New thinking about manufacturing
Adoption of quantum technologies and business model innovation
This white paper presents the findings from over 60 stakeholder interviews on how firms and policymakers need to prepare for the development and commercialisation of quantum technologies to identify value to society and contribute to economic growth.
Engineering superheroes: IfM Engage helps aerospace company spread their wings
Yorkshire-based engineering company Produmax, global experts in flight control components and assemblies, credit IfM Engage as crucial in helping them succeed in a volatile global market and build resilience for the future.
Digital transformation on a shoestring
Kate Price Thomas, Shoestring's programme’s Marketing and Engagement Lead, tells us how Shoestring solutions have been deployed in 14 companies, helping them to start to digitalise the low-cost way.
Changing how we talk — and think — about manufacturing
It’s time for a change in how we talk about manufacturing — and that means we must change how we think about it as well, writes Tim Minshall.
Quick win sustainability strategies from the IfM
Insights from the IfM show that rapid sustainability improvements are not only achievable, but can also improve the bottom line.
From grant to scaled-up manufacturing: Roadmapping for success
Learn how roadmapping can support decision making and help get research projects off to the best possible start.
Transforming manufacturing with autonomous supply chains
Digital technologies offer huge opportunities for supply chain transformation. The IfM's Professor Alexandra Brintrup explains how agent-based systems are helping to make supply chains smarter and more efficient.
Digital twins for the space sector
As new space tech companies enter the market, the satellite industry is undergoing a rapid digital transformation. Assistant Professor Dr Veronica Martinez explains how digital twin technology is transforming the satellite industry.
Successful innovation using IoT
Digital transformation is a priority for many manufacturers across the UK. How can manufacturers achieve greater productivity, faster delivery and better customer service through digitalisation?
IfM students help to turn 100-year-old bakery into thriving online business
Despite a few challenging years as a result of COVID-19, 100-year-old Cambridge bakery Fitzbillies has emerged triumphant, with the help and insights of a group of IfM students.
From idea to patient: the IfM approach to healthcare
The IfM has been working on research in healthcare for over 30 years. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, this meant the institute could respond to new challenges using past experience. Now, the IfM is building on that work across its research and practice.
Lessons for emergency healthcare logistics
IfM PhD student Rob Glew reflects on the lessons learned from two years of working on emergency healthcare logistics during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How can knowledge be shared better across the NHS?
Building on experience from the COVID-19 response, IfM PhD student Carl-Magnus von Behr explains how new research is looking at knowledge sharing across NHS trusts.
Putting new healthcare technology to effective use: wearables for therapeutic cancer treatment
The development of cutting-edge wearable technologies that can monitor people during their cancer treatment is transforming our understanding of the disease and our ability to detect and treat it. But integrating such new technology into care is essential to its effectiveness.
New manufacturing approaches to affordable healthcare
IfM research is exploring how important diagnostics and medical devices can be made more accessible to low- and middle-income countries.
How strategic roadmapping can signpost the route to the future
Roadmapping is a powerful approach that can help organisations to effectively plan and communicate their strategy. Dr Imoh Ilevbare, Principal Solution Development Specialist at IfM Engage, tells Jason Naselli reveals some of the best and most interesting examples he has seen.
The UK Innovation Report 2022
The UK Innovation Report 2022 benchmarks the UK’s industrial and innovation performance in a global context. It brings together innovation and value-added indicators in a concise and accessible format.
Open innovation: Solving IP challenges for SMEs
Dr Frank Tietze, Head of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Management (IIPM) Lab and co-author of a new European Commission report looking at IP and Open Innovation (OI), explains how SMEs can use IP more strategically to gain competitive advantage.
Simpler than it looks: Discovering the Shoestring approach to digital manufacturing
Professor Duncan McFarlane reflects on four years of Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring, including how he first realised the potential of the approach, and how Shoestring is spreading across Britain and further afield.
EIT Food Accelerator Network provides showcase and support to growing agritech and foodtech ventures
The IfM is in the third year of running the Cambridge hub of the EIT Food Accelerator Network, offering expert mentoring and helping agritech and foodtech start-ups across Europe to increase their chance of becoming commercially and sustainably successful.
What, how and when to automate
Automation can be the answer to a whole host of manufacturing and operations questions. But deciding what, how and when to automate is not straightforward, says Liz Salter at IfM Engage.
Back to the future: Life resumes at Charles Babbage Road
As COVID-19 restrictions ease, we speak to the members of the IfM community about the upcoming academic year, what the ‘new normal’ looks like, and what they’re excited about as they return to the IfM building.
Dr Olivia Remes on the science of wellbeing and mental health
The IfM research associate explains how the adoption of engineering methods can help identify and prioritise interventions in the treatment of depression.
Food allergy incidents are rising. How can food manufacturing improve?
Technology, regulation and a culture of safety all have a role to play as part of a joined-up approach, says Lili Jia.
To remain competitive, aerospace companies need to get digital twins right
As the importance of digital twins grows, most companies still have work to do to fully capitalise on their use.
New low-cost solutions help manufacturers go digital
Cost-effective, off-the-shelf technologies are helping manufacturing SMEs to transform into highly efficient, digitally enabled businesses.
Solar batteries without the charger? We’re working on that
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.
The future of human-robot interaction: A look at three scenarios
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.
New inkjet printing method could accelerate drug discovery and printed personalised drug delivery
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.
How 5G technology could unlock new opportunities at ports and across industry
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.
In COVID-19 vaccines and economic recovery, supply chains loom larger than ever
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.
ARIA and the value of challenge-led innovation
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.
Green and beautiful: The benefits of embedding electronics in ceramic tiles
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.
The effects of COVID-19 on how universities contribute to innovation
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.
UK Innovation Report
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.
Business model innovation is key to beating COVID-19 debt
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.
Getting the most out of your digital strategy
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.
Confronting complexity: How systems engineering can be applied to healthcare, policy and industry
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’.
The power of repurposing: How smaller manufacturers helped the UK withstand COVID-19’s first wave
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?
2020 has emphasised that industrial innovation is vital to Britain’s future
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.
Mission critical supply chains: When recall isn’t the best option
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 Maker Movement vs COVID-19: How a DIY community responded to the pandemic
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.
Learn from the survival of the fittest firms
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'.
Developing a ventilator sharing device for use in emergencies
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.
Manufacturing a better world after COVID-19
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.
How IfM students helped the NHS in Cambridge during 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.
Test, Tag and Trace - A digital solution to get organisations back to work, safely
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.
Patient-flow modelling and resource demand prediction during COVID-19
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.
Manufacturing plays a vital role in creating a truly sustainable world by 2050
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.
Test, Tag and Trace: A digital solution for getting back to the office safely
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.
Top tips to get your firm fighting fit post-COVID
Leading experts advise how businesses can best prepare for the months and years ahead, and any future disruption that may come.
Manufacturing sustainability: Back to the future
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.
COVID-19: Manufacturing at a turning point
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.
Can policy simulations help developing economies after COVID-19?
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.
COVID-19 and the global contraction in FDI
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.
Supply chains and the power of artificial intelligence
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.
UK supply chains: Learning the right lessons from COVID-19
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.
Steering your organisation through a time of uncertainty
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.
Virtual workshops: Top tips for remote collaboration
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.
COVID-19 critical supplies: The manufacturing repurposing challenge
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.
Connecting healthcare and manufacturing: The challenges of COVID-19
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.
Structured decision making in uncertain times: An IfM approach
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.
Could intellectual property concerns slow the response to COVID-19?
A new paper from IfM and University of Cambridge researchers explores how to avoid IP-related delays in the pandemic response.
Innovate Indonesia: Unlocking growth through technological transformation
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.
What does lockdown mean for the future of our food supply?
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.
Understanding risk in pharmaceutical supply chains
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.
The future of the manufacturing workforce
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.
The power of AI for supply chain efficiency
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.
Helping SMEs towards digitalisation
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.
Training the manufacturing leaders of the future
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.
Digital manufacturing: opportunities and barriers
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.
Do you really know what you’re eating?
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.
Ecosystem thinking for strategic planning [WEBINAR]
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.
Driving competitive advantage through transformative technologies
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.
How sustainable are our online food shopping baskets?
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.
IP strategy: from innovative ideas to viable businesses
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.
Digital manufacturing on a Shoestring
In this article, Professor Duncan McFarlane introduces a new research project into low-cost digital solutions for manufacturing SMEs.
New industrial capabilities for new economic growth
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.
- 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
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