Made Smarter Network Plus launches

Posted on: 10/05/2021

The Made Smarter Network Plus, the research and network strand of the £147 million Made Smarter Innovation programme, has now launched.

Jillian MacBryde from the University of Strathclyde and Jan Godsell from the University of Warwick have taken up the roles of directors of the programme. They will be working within the Economic and Social Research Council.

The Network Plus aims to bring together economic and social science insights across the challenge and the wider UK manufacturing sector. It will provide academic leadership and activities to bolster engagement and collaboration opportunities for digital technology innovation within manufacturing.

Chris Courtney, Challenge Director for Made Smarter Innovation, said of the appointments:

“Digital technologies have the power to radically transform how we manufacture and deliver the products and services of the future and deliver a more resilient, prosperous economy with fundamental changes to the nature of work.

A key part of delivering an optimal future in manufacturing will be enabled by harnessing the insights from the broader economic, social, regulatory and political sciences.

I’m delighted to welcome Jan and Jill to the overall effort as co-directors, combining two of our leading academics in this space bringing leadership, insight with a passion for manufacturing.

I’m excited to get this work underway and to support Jill and Jan as they reach out to the broad network of capability to engage and shape a vital and exciting programme of work.”

Jillian commented:

“There’s real opportunity for manufacturing firms to embrace digital technology and become more competitive and ‘future ready’.

But it is not all about technology, many of the barriers to change are to do with issues such as culture, skills, attitudes to risk, etc. So it is important to engage with a wider community, helping manufacturing firms on their journey.

The Made Smarter Network Plus will allow us to bring in people from the economic and social sciences, which will help drive the digital revolution, and at the same time open up new avenues for research.”

Register for the upcoming Made Smarter Network Plus townhall event on Thursday 13 May (1-2.30pm) where you can find out more about the programme and how to get involved.

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