“Manufacturing globally is a key provider of wealth and employment, accounting for $4.4 trillion of value-added world-wide… Manufacturing is also one of the primary mechanisms for realising wealth from new technologies and is therefore critical to the UK. …The challenge for UK manufacturers is to remain competitive in this environment, which in turn translates into being continually innovative.”
Technology Strategy Board, High Value Manufacturing 2008-2011
In the last few decades, the concept of manufacturing has moved on from ‘those activities which take place within the factory walls’ to a multi-skilled, multi-disciplinary cycle of activities combining research, design and development, production, logistics, service provision and end of life management and needing many different players and partners up and down the value chain. As a result, it has become difficult for all but the largest players to assemble the skills, knowledge and technologies needed to successfully develop new products and/or services.
The first aim of the Innovative Manufacturing CRN is to encourage research ‘cross-pollination’ within Brunel and to enable the pursuit of research themes, collaborations and funding opportunities requiring expertise from different disciplines like precision micro manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing, business, social science, etc. by making use of and building upon existing world-class research and development within the university.
The second aim is to strengthen and establish new links and collaborations with industrial partners and to provide UK industry a “route of access” to specialist researchers/academics whose expertise has significance in the field of innovative manufacturing – the intention being that the IM CRN should support the published government strategy of moving UK manufacturing ‘up the value chain’ and into high-value, high-technology areas which will provide sustainable and long-term growth for manufacturing industries in the UK.
|Prof Kai Cheng
+44 (0)1985 265255
|Dr Richard Bateman
+44 (0)1895 267078