3D printing

Digital fabrication - getting behind the hype

The reality and the potential of digital fabrication for the UK economy will be examined in a new research project by the Centre for Technology Management's Technology Enterprise Group, funded by the ESRC and EPSRC.

3D printing: The shape of things to come?

Dr Simon Ford, from IfM's Centre for Technology Management, explains why we need to take a clear-eyed view of this much hyped technology if it is to realise its potential.

Additive manufacturing: understanding the bigger picture

Governments around the world have high hopes for Additive Manufacturing (AM) also widely referred to as 3D printing. But if it is to have the economic impact they are looking for, there needs to be a better understanding of both the huge opportunities AM presents as well as the barriers that may prevent it realising its potential.

Advanced manufacturing

A new way to make microstructured surfaces

Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties.

Advanced materials: one of the UK's eight great technologies for future growth

Today, we commence a month-long focus on research on advanced materials. To begin, materials scientist Professor Mark Blamire and engineer Professor Bill O'Neill discuss how research in Cambridge is helping to advance the material world.

Small but mighty: the manufacturing challenges of nanotechnology

Head of NanoManufacturing at the IfM, Dr Michael de Volder explains why manufacturing carbon nanotubes is so difficult and so important.

Small is beautiful: Why ultra precision manufacturing is such a big deal

Are you happy with your smartphone? Bill O'Neill, Professor of Laser Engineering and Director of the IfM's Centre for Industrial Photonics isn't.

Increasing manufacturing capability and productivity

Professor Bill O’Neill, Head of the Centre for Industrial Photonics, discusses the current role that precision industrial lasers and other technologies are playing in increasing capability and productivity in manufacturing.

50 years of tribology

From wind farms to data storage, from deodorants to floor tiles, tribology is involved in many aspects of modern life yet most people have never heard of the word, let alone know what it means.

Advanced manufacturing - From research to real products

Dr Ronan Daly, from the IfM?s Inkjet Research Centre and founder of the new Fluids in Advanced Manufacturing Group, explains why taking a cross-disciplinary approach to advanced manufacturing research has the potential to deliver solutions to some of the world?s most pressing problems.

Leonardo da Vinci: the first systematic study of friction

Friction is immensely important to us ? without it, for example, we could not walk or even crawl yet it is only 50 years since a special word tribology was first coined to describe its study. Professor Ian Hutchings who leads the Inkjet Research Centre at the IfM has recently had a paper published on Leonardo da Vinci and his studies of Friction.

Liquid assets: fluids in advanced manufacturing

Understanding fluids and their behaviour is key to developing new manufacturing processes and a wide range of applications.

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.

Scalable customisation

How can manufacturers develop sophisticated customisable products at scale, which are affordable both for the manufacturer and for the consumer? IfM researchers have been collaborating with NSG Pilkington on late-stage customisation for large curved glass surfaces.

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 quantum leap

Quantum computing looks set to play a key role in the future of manufacturing. The IfM’s Professor Chander Velu explains how companies can best prepare.


Factories of the future and implications for automation

Where will we make things in the future and how will the concept of a factory evolve? IfM's Professor Duncan McFarlane says that how we answer these questions is changing and is affecting our priorities for automation.

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.

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.

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.

Machining the future: The AI advantage

The field of AI is advancing rapidly, with ongoing improvements in AI models and sensors presenting exciting prospects for enhancing manufacturing and design processes. IfM Associate Professor Sebastian Pattinson delves into how AI could improve processes and provides valuable tips for using AI-controlled systems effectively.

Big Data and the new analytics

The six burning questions for firms looking to make money from big data

Big data has been touted as the 'new oil for business', representing incredible potential financial rewards. How should they go about using it, asks Professor Andy Neely.

Is big data still big news?

The internet, social media, cloud computing and mobile devices have created previously unimaginable quantities of data. People talk about 'data being the new oil', a natural resource that companies need to exploit and refine. But is this really true or are we in the realm of hype?

The future of flying

Aircraft that work together to solve complicated mathematical problems and airports with more flexibly used runways could be the future of flying, according to studies by University of Cambridge engineers and their industrial and academic partners.

Why SMEs need to board the Big Data train

Failing to jump aboard the Big Data train will leave businesses in the dust of newer, smarter start-ups, says Andy Neely in a blog article in The Telegraph.

Why you need Big Data to measure customer loyalty

Dr Mohamed Zaki discusses the pitfalls of relying on simplistic numerical values to measure customer loyalty.

Big and clever: a system-wide approach to data analytics

The Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) at the IfM are working with companies such as Boeing, Exxon, Electrolux and Laing O'Rourke to develop smart ways of using data to improve performance and increase resilience.

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.

Building resilience

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.

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'.

Business model innovation


New business models for a sustainable future

Dr Doroteya Vladimirova from the Centre for Industrial Sustainability contends that manufacturers need to start doing business differently if they are to create value for themselves and for society as a whole ? even if that means working with some of their competitors.

The Cambridge Value Mapping Tool

The Cambridge Value Mapping Tool has been developed and refined over the last five years. It uses a structured and visual approach to identify 'value uncaptured' in the form of failed value exchanges: value missed, destroyed, surplus, and absence.

The innovation game

Dr Chander Velu, head of the IfM's Business Model Innovation research programme, explains why the time has come to put business model innovation under the microscope.

Business model innovation to solve productivity paradox

New digital technologies are supposed to bring us unprecedented efficiencies and new opportunities for value creation. So why has the productivity of major economies been slowing down over the past 10 years?

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.

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.

Targeting the full value of digital disruption through business model innovation

Dr Chander Velu considers how the next wave of digital technologies will impact businesses, and shares a framework for targeting the potential value including innovating business models.

Business strategy & performance

Helping SMEs develop strategy and build capability

Small firms with big ideas are a critical component in driving the nation towards a knowledge economy – but SMEs are often left out of the innovation system. Dr Nicky Athanassopoulou discusses how universities can work with small businesses to boost innovation.

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.

Business tools

A framework and methodology for developing business improvement tools

Dr Imoh Ilevbare, Product Manager for IfM Education and Consultancy Services, describes the IfM's approach to developing business tools and processes from cutting-edge research.

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.

Management tools and toolkits: the good, the bad and the ugly

Dr Clive Kerr and Dr Rob Phaal from the IfM's Centre for Technology Management (CTM) are looking at better ways to design and use management tools and toolkits.

Design for transformation

Why did they design it like that?

James Moultrie looks for universal appeal when beauty in is the eye of the beholder.

Design for additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have resulted in significant changes to the way we design complex components. But the uptake beyond prototyping and small scale production remains slow.

Using additive manufacturing beyond prototypes

Dr James Moultrie considers how manufacturers could be using these new additive manufacturing technologies more effectively for series production of components.

Developing people

Developing technology experts as leaders

Find out how IfM’s Executive & Professional Development (EPD) team, in partnership with Atos and Paderborn University, has developed an award-winning programme to develop technology experts as business leaders.

Digital manufacturing

The digitalisation of manufacturing economies

New digital technologies are radically changing the ways firms manufacture products, the business models they adopt, and even how they innovate. At a national level, digital technologies promise to reshape national manufacturing systems and redefine sources of competitive advantage.

Manufacturing leadership in the age of digital disruption

Professor Andy Neely, Head of the IfM and the Cambridge Service Alliance, on how industry leaders should focus on five key areas if they want to survive the journey to a digital future.

The Origin of the Internet of Things

Most of you have probably heard the Internet of Things, or the IoT, mentioned but have you ever wondered what it means and where it all began?

Getting smart with digital

The speed at which technologies are now evolving and computational power is increasing means that digital manufacturing is now coming of age and with it widespread innovation and disruption.

How bright is your digital future: digitalising the extended supply chain

Dr Jag Srai, Head of the IfM's Centre for International Manufacturing (CIM), and his team have developed a new way to help companies embrace the challenges and opportunities of digitalising the extended supply chain.

An IoT-based Smart Supply Chain Automation System

As part of the Pitch-In project, we are creating a platform that allows systems to 'talk' autonomously through the use of IoT and agent technology.

Digital manufacturing on a Shoestring

In this article, Professor Duncan McFarlane introduces a new research project into low-cost digital solutions for manufacturing SMEs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.


From smoothies to Star Wars

Georgina (George) Rose graduated with an MEng in Manufacturing Engineering in 2010.

Getting creative in the kitchen

In 2003 Richard Joseph set up Joseph Joseph, the innovative kitchenware company, with his twin brother Anthony. It now has a turnover of ?40 million, sells its products in 104 countries and has 80 employees.

The alumni interviews: MET over lunch

Jonathan Duck took the Production Engineering Tripos (PET) 1981-1983, when it was only in its third year. It was renamed the Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (MET) soon after.

The alumni interviews: Susan Long & Abi Bush

Two MET graduates, Susan Long and Abi Bush, are changing the face of humanitarian aid using innovative manufacturing engineering solutions to help people around the world that are affected by disaster or war through their work with non-profit organisation Field Ready.

Manufacturing industry-ready graduates

Two key aspects of developing industry readiness are preparing graduates to solve real, rather than academic problems, and giving them experience of a range of industrial working environments.

Equipping engineers for the next production revolution

Tom Ridgman explores the history of engineering education and how we should be educating the engineers of the future to effectively harness the rapid technological changes driving the next production revolution.

Describing skills: The art of the specific

To acquire and develop a skill, we first need to unpick and describe what it involves more closely. But describing a skill is more challenging that we might expect. Dr Judith Shawcross from the IfM explains some insights from her research into this.

Student insights: Can haptic gloves make it easier to learn a skill?

Graduate student Ben Proyer has been part of an IfM research team testing the effectiveness of wearable technologies for industrial skills development. He shares his perspective on the project.

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.

Global supply chains

Twenty-first century supply chains: Transforming the pharmaceutical industry

The Centre for International Manufacturing (CIM) is leading the research programme in REMEDIES, a £23m sector-wide initiative to understand how pharmaceutical supply chains in the UK are set to change.

Keeping the supply chain flowing

In this age of rapid and escalating change, what can businesses do to flourish? Take a look at their supply chains, say researchers in the Centre for International Manufacturing, part of the IfM, based on their research in the UK and India.

Redefining 21st Century Supply Chains

The globalization of manufacturing has radically transformed how supply chains are built. As a result, tomorrow's supply networks will need to be more strategic, resilient, sustainable, and customer-focused.

Take your medicine: the future of pharmaceutical supply chains

Revolutionising pharmaceutical supply chains - from how a pill is made to the moment it is swallowed by the patient.

Thought for food: challenges in the food supply chain

Dr Mukesh Kumar leads research in supply chain resilience at the IfM. He describes how his work is helping to tackle one of this century’s most important challenges: food safety.

How digital platforms are changing the way we do business

Professor Geoff Parker, a keynote speaker at the CIM Symposium 2019 and a leading thinker on digital platforms, shares his perspectives on how new digital models are fundamentally changing the economy and the operating environment, and how firms need to adapt to survive and prosper.

Collaboration as the best medicine

Dr Jag Srai explains how ReMediES, a 23-million funded, 4-year project has forged a new model for cross-sector collaboration in UK medicines manufacturing. As the project concludes, he describes some of the innovations it has delivered.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The new globalisation and rethinking our supply chains

With the advent of new technologies, a changing geopolitical context and ever more pressing concerns about sustainability, are we seeing the emergence of a new form of globalisation? Dr Jagjit Singh Srai examines the current state of globalisation in this article for The Manufacturer.

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.

Connecting the unconnected: New thinking on next generation supply chains

As the annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium marks its twentieth year Dr Tomas Harrington, Dr Jag Srai and Paul Christodoulou from the IfM's Centre for International Manufacturing (CIM) reflect on the new supply chain thinking that is emerging from companies such as Cisco, Coca-Cola, Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson Matthey, Cambridge University Press and Schneider Electric.

The 10 factors of digital transformation success

IfM Engage Industrial Associate Kam Gossal explains how manufacturers can best align their digital transformation programmes and the key factors behind success.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Innovation and IP management

Patently not obvious

Frank Tietze knows more than most about IP and hopes to help Cambridge and the UK do a lot better in the global IP charts.

Intellectual property challenges for the digital economy

As manufacturers transition into digitally driven business models, there are significant implications for intellectual property (IP). Dr Frank Tietze considers five key challenges, and some strategies to address them.

The roadmap to smart scaling: How to avoid the pitfalls of new corporate ventures

In 2021, IfM Education and Consulting Services will be collaborating with Lean Scaleup to support corporate innovation in a new peer group. In this article, peer group leads Rob Munro and Frank Mattes discuss some of the approaches they teach and how companies can use ecosystem thinking to successfully start and scale up new corporate ventures.

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.

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.

Managing risk

The lost art of risk management

Dr Mukesh Kumar from the Centre for International Manufacturing suggests that multinational manufacturers are taking unnecessary risks with their industrial investments and he offers a solution.

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.

Manufacturing a better world

Maintenance matters

Dr Maria Holgado from the IfM?s Centre for Industrial Sustainability (CIS) has been researching maintenance and particularly how it can make a vital contribution to a company?s long-term sustainability.

Disaster relief operations

Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and droughts: when a natural disaster strikes, relief organisations react by providing medical treatment, food, water and shelter. However, in these difficult and chaotic circumstances supply networks often prove to be insufficiently resilient.

Manufacturing a better world

IfM research is helping to contribute to global industrial sustainability - economic, environmental and societal - by addressing global "Grand Challenges".

Untangling the spaghetti: nanomanufacturing for clean water and green batteries

The IfM?s NanoManufacturing group is developing nanotechnologies to supply clean water for developing nations and build better batteries for renewable energy.

Diagnosing deadly diseases: combining biotechnology and manufacturing

Engineers and scientists from Fluids in Advanced Manufacturing and Cambridge Analytical Biotechnology groups have joined forces to develop an on-the-spot low-cost tool for the rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Thought for food: improving food safety through resilient supply chains

Dr Mukesh Kumar leads research in supply chain resilience at the IfM. He describes how his work is helping to tackle one of this century's most important challenges: food safety.

Industrial sustainability: paradox or paradigm?

IfM's Centre for Industrial Sustainability is focused on increasing our understanding of how to transform industrial behaviour to develop more sustainable environments, economies and societies.

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.

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.

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?

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.

Manufacturing a more equitable world through informed policy-making

Jennifer Castañeda Navarrete, a Senior Policy Analyst for Cambridge Industrial Innovation Policy tells us about her work and dedication to addressing the problem of women's underrepresentation in the industrial sector and industrial policy.

Driving change: in pursuit of cobalt-free batteries

Head of the IfM’s Nanomanufacturing Group, Professor Michael de Volder, sheds light on pioneering efforts to eliminate cobalt from electric vehicle batteries, offering a glimpse into a more sustainable era for electric mobility.

Manufacturing matters

50 years of manufacturing at Cambridge

2015 is an important year for the IfM. This October sees the 50th annual intake of students on its MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management.

Open Innovation

The importance of open innovation in the FMCG sector

In a sector characterised by the need to reduce time to market and find new ideas to generate new products, firms are constantly searching for ideas and innovations that will give them a competitive edge. Open innovation (OI) can facilitate this process.

Unlocking ideas through open innovation

The companies most likely to thrive in the complexity, speed and uncertainty of today’s global business environment are those who are able to innovate effectively. Dominic Oughton explains why Open Innovation is a compelling strategy for businesses in the FMCG sector and beyond…

Science2Society: university-industry-society collaborations

IfM has been a key partner in Science2Society, a 3-year pan-European project which has focused on boosting innovation through collaborations between universities and industry.

The problem of plastic: Open Innovation Forum tackles sustainable packaging

How can major industry challenges be better addressed with astute approaches to innovation and design? Find out about a recent Forum challenge to rethink food packaging for improved sustainability.


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.


How roadmapping can provide clarity in times of uncertainty

Strategic roadmapping provides the ideal framework for gaining clarity when future plans are uncertain.

Improve the impact of your roadmap

Dr Rob Phaal gives seven ways organisations can improve their approach to roadmapping, providing an excellent foundation for planning strategic technology and innovation activities.

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.

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.

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.


Making the shift to services

Professor Andy Neely, Director of the Cambridge Service Alliance and the Royal Academy of Engineering Professor of Complex Services at the University of Cambridge, reflects on some of the key trends in servitization and the strategic choices facing today's manufacturers.

Shift to service is 'vital' for UK industry

New research led by Prefessor Andy Neely, Director of the Cambridge Service Alliance (CSA) argues that a shift to services is vital for UK industry.

Understanding the customer: new service-based business models

At the Cambridge Service Alliance we are exploring new service-based business models and, in particular, what the business to business (B2B) world needs to learn from consumer-focused companies.

Do not fall prey to business ecosystem failure

The term innovate or die is now a mantra for business. But sometimes innovating without fully understanding your business ecosystem, or before your ecosystem is ready, can be a massive blunder. Dr Florian Urmetzer from the Cambridge Service Alliance explains why.

10 myths about co-creation

Co-creation is a core capability for unleashing the immense resourcefulness of outsiders. Yet ten common co-creation myths prevent companies from seeing the potential to innovate better.

How TfL is mapping relationships for better results

Dr Florian Urmetzer explains how Transport for London has used ecosystem mapping to identify relationships and value exchanges for better results in planning a large infrastructure project.

Customer experience: Connecting the digital, physical and social

Digital technologies are transforming the ways in which companies can interact with their customers. Dr Mohamed Zaki shares insights on connecting the digital, physical and social spaces of customer experience.

Blockchain: Developing a pilot that delivered business results

How can new technologies be tested to demonstrate effectiveness? Dr Veronica Martinez explains how a pilot project at Caterpillar demonstrated the value of a solution based on blockchain to solve business problems.

Do you know what your customers really think about you?

Research carried out by the Cambridge Service Alliance has shown that widely used methods for measuring customer satisfaction do not really tell you what your customers are thinking. Dr Mohamed Zaki and Professor Janet McColl-Kennedy, have devised a better way of understanding the customer experience.

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.

Strategic asset management

A social network of things - New approaches to asset management

Dr Ajith Parlikad, Head of the IfM's Asset Management Group, explains how effective asset management can deliver significant value both for manufacturers and for infrastructure owners and operators.

Expecting the Unexpected

The key to long-term management of infrastructure lies in futureproofing, say Duncan McFarlane and Tariq Masood.

What makes an intelligent infrastructure asset?

What would it take to enable a piece of infrastructure to take care of itself, asks Duncan McFarlane of the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure?

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.


Predicting the unpredictable: the future of manufacturing

Dr Dai Morgan from the IfM's Centre for Industrial Sustainability (CIS) reflects on the UK government's recent Foresight report on the future of manufacturing.

New business models for a sustainable future

Dr Doroteya Vladimirova from the IfM's Centre for Industrial Sustainability contends that manufacturers need to start doing business differently if they are to create value for themselves and for society as a whole.

Industrial sustainability: paradox or paradigm?

Professor Steve Evans is working with manufacturers to make manufacturing more sustainable. He explains that the environment, society and manufacturers can all benefit from increasing non-labour resource efficiency, re-thinking business models and transforming industrial systems.

Grass-root circular economy through creative waste innovation

Dr Curie Park explains how recent projects in Thailand have nurtured local entrenpreneurship through the creation of innovative products made with industrial waste and ocean plastic waste.

The environmental impact of a Playstation 4

Journalist Lewis Gordon worked with IfM's Dr Claire Barlow and colleague Dr John Durrell to unpick the carbon footprint and impact on workers of this soon-to-be-obsolete console, with eye-watering findings.

Boosting industrial sustainability through transformative technologies

Manufacturers are already working towards strategies which can both improve their sustainability practices and deliver on business objectives. Among these leaders, there is innovative thinking about the role for digital technologies can play. But what might this look like? Professor Steve Evans shares his insights.

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.

Food security in a warming world

Dr Nazia Mintz Habib answers questions about the increasingly precarious global food supply chain in an interview with RICS.

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.

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.

Resource efficiency: Can sustainability and improved profit go hand-in-hand?

Professor Steve Evans shares his insights into how resource efficiency can be good news for your profit margins as well as the environment.

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.

A more sustainable cuppa: Driving sustainability at Kenyan tea factories

In 2020, IfM partnered with top tea producer Eastern Produce Kenya to promote simple - but effective - energy-saving practices at two tea estates in the Nandi Hills.

Sustainability: making the invisible visible

In our conversation with the IfM's Centre for Industrial Sustainability, we explore the crucial importance of making industrial resources more visible. By bringing to light some of the often neglected aspects, we discover how — as resources become more visible — their value increases, which results in a crucial step towards achieving environmental, climatic, and financial benefits.

Technology and innovation policy

Given in evidence

QUESTION: How do we get better at taking the research knowledge from our science and engineering base and turning it into technologies, industries and economic wealth?

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.

The next production revolution

As manufacturing becomes more complex, distributed and interdependent, policy makers around the world are looking for new ways to ensure national competitiveness for the so-called ‘next production revolution’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Staying ahead of the curve: Rethinking Innovation at Domino Printing

Industrial printing firm Domino Printing Sciences has been able to stay ahead of its competitors by rethinking its approach to innovation, using approaches and frameworks from the IfM.

Technology management

Technology Management Briefings - 2007-2009

IfM briefings and case studies provide a two-page summary of management, technology and policy issues.

Growth through effective innovation & technology

Innovation is key to growth but how do you manage it efficiently and how do you go about deciding what new product or process to invest in?

Managing innovation in rail

Rob Munro, Industrial Associate for IfM Education and Consultancy Services, shares some insights into AIR4, a government-funded initiative to bring a more structured approach to making innovation happen in the rail sector.

How Does Innovation Happen in Your Organisation?

How can organisations take a more strategic approach to managing innovation, and why could this be beneficial? John Saiz and Dr Clemens Chaskel share their insights.

Technology intelligence services

With new technologies appearing more rapidly than ever before, Dr Letizia Mortara discusses how technology intelligence could help pick the ones that will deliver competitive advantage and spot the threats.

Can cyber-human technology help us learn skills?

Dr Thomas Bohné shares insights from current research into the potential for using cyber-human technology for industrial skills training.