Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre Renewal

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Engineering

Abstract

IMRC will engage in a broad range of research topics that will benefit a wide range of industrial sectors. Research will cover:- new manufacturing technologies that are capable of providing higher productivity and lower costs; advanced industrial photonics that are seen as key enabling technologies for 21st century manufacturing operations; control and automation at the system and machine level; strategy and performance measures essential for developing efficient manufacturing operations; an examination of innovation developments and technology take-up; design methodologies; and research into the economics and policies the are likely to influence the development of manufacturing operations through the 21st century.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The research in the early phases of the IMRC included a series of projects which rapidly developed the capabilities of the then newly established research Centres within the IfM. Notable successes included pioneering work in technology roadmapping, definitive work in the application of RFID technologies to manufacturing and the development of high performance fibre-laser based processing technologies which ..
During the middle period of the IMRC it was possible to experiment with new research approaches and structures. Research projects were developed through a competitive internal bidding processes, younger colleagues and PhD student were supported to pursue high risk multi-disciplinary projects and the Emerging Industries Programme addressed one of the UK's major strategic challenges
During the latter period of the IMRC the IfM model was becoming well established and increasingly recognised providing the context within which a number of major new research initiatives were able to flourish including the S4T service research consortium involving ten other universities, a major programme of inkjet and additive processing research and new Centres for Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability and Ultra-Precision Production. The IfM was also a major contributor to three IKC programmes as well as a series of EPSRC grand challenges.
Exploitation Route A new £15m purpose-built facility, funded largely from industrial and charitable sources opened in 2009 and is now well-established providing a modern, industry-friendly environment housing a unique multi-disciplinary, industrially engaged community. The IfM's initial aspiration to become a centre of research excellence, a hub for academic-industry interaction and a global focus for industrial education and innovation has been largely realised. The IfM makes a significant contribution to the UK economy through improving company strategies and operations, informing government policies towards engineering, technology and management and developing the next generation of manufacturing leaders in the context of a vibrant industry/academic research network.
The IMRC formed an integral part of the IfM providing the foundations upon which many activities were launched and developed. In the early stages of the IMRC accounted for almost 40% of research support but this proportion fell as new sources of funding were drawn in.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Electronics,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/research/
 
Description The impact of research has been exploited by the IfM's Industry Links Unit (ILU) which has matured over the period of the IMRC pioneering new approaches to the capture and codification of research and its dissemination through industrial education programmes, workbooks and guidelines for industry and consultancy services. The ILU evolved from a charitably funded unit to a fully self-sufficient activity returning a significant surplus to the IfM to support future research. Particularly significant has been the engagement with SME manufacturing businesses and the capability to improve capability and performance in major international manufacturing companies. The unit, recently renamed ECS, is now pioneering long-term partnerships with major corporations blending exploratory and applications-oriented research with direct practical support to company operations The IMRC provided the flexibility which enabled the IfM to contribute to the research and policy as well as the industrial communities. The annual national research methodology workshop has attracted some 400 students from across the UK over the period of the IMRC. The IfM chairs and organises the UK Manufacturing Professors' Forum which has significantly raised the profile of the manufacturing research community in policy circles. Representation on the Government's Ministerial Advisory Group on Manufacturing (later Manufacturing Analytical Group) has provided opportunities to contribute directly to national manufacturing strategies while the TSB is drawing heavily on the IMRC Emerging Industries Programme in formulating it's programmes in that domain. The recently published 15year Landscape for UK Manufacturing conducted by the IfM for the TSB, EPSRC and BIS is providing the context for the future programmes of all three agencies.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Electronics,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description AGP Manufacturing Working Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact AGP recommendations have led to £1.07bn government investment in UK aerospace
 
Description Board member High Value Manufacturing Catapult 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Influence development of HVM Catapult

Growth of HVM Catapult activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014
 
Description Chairman Aerospace Growth Programme (AGP) Manufacturing Working Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Government awarded £1.07bn for aerospace R&D based upon AGP recommendations

Government funding for aerospace R&D
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014
 
Description Chairman BIS Expert Group on Manufacturing Metrics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Ongoing

Work not yet complete
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Chairman UK Manufacturing Professors Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Has become a recognised annual forum engaging UK Manufacturing Professors with senior industrialists and policymakers

Regular contacts with senior government officials
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
 
Description Member TSB Emerging Industries Panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Set priorities for some TSB investments

Budgets and programmes established
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013
 
Description Specialist Advisor HOCommons Select Committee on Engineering 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Select committee report

Greater awareness of engineering nationally and increased role for RAEng
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2009