Connected Everything II: Accelerating Digital Manufacturing Research Collaboration and Innovation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering


The Connected Everything II (CEII) Network Plus will deliver a network of networks which will accelerate multi-disciplinary collaboration, foster new collaborations between industry and academia and tackle emerging challenges which will underpin the UK academic community's research in support of people, technologies, products and systems for digital manufacturing. Through a range of activities, including feasibility studies, networking, and thematic research, CEII will bring together new teams within a multidisciplinary community to explore new ideas, demonstrate novel technologies in the context of digital manufacturing, and accelerate impact of research into industry.

The Network is inspired by the context of the four tenets of Industry 4.0: Interoperability; Information Transparency; Cognitive and Physical Assistance; and Decentralised Decisions and Actions. It will enable the multidisciplinary community to consider cross-cutting themes, some of which will emerge during the lifetime of the Network, but others - Creativity; Data-rich sociotechnical systems; and Regulation - which have been co-created by the industrial and academic members of the Network management team.

The CEII Network Plus aligns with a National and International priority of Digital Manufacturing, as highlighted in the Made Smarter report. It will contribute to the delivery of a Connected Nation, through consideration of how advances in digital technologies which connect objects and data in future, distributed manufacturing systems. It will contribute to a Productive Nation, through development of demonstrator projects that take concepts from other domains and apply them to Digital Manufacturing, as well as a range of activities which will support the development of future leaders.

Planned Impact

This Network Plus will generate impact for the following groups:

- Industry: through new knowledge generated in feasibility studies, including new insight into data sets examined via feasibility studies, new partnerships formed through industry participation in networking events, new research potentially directly funded by industry, and competitive advantage both for specific industrial network participant and industry within the UK as a whole. Industry will benefit through participation in Network Plus events, supporting academic placements in industry, and feasibility studies, and through the resources produced by the Network Plus, including the Digital World 2050 report. These outputs will help industry identify suitable collaboration partners for future research, and determine opportunities for investment in new technologies.

- Policy makers: through identification of key challenges and opportunities for the UK in future industrial systems, demonstration of potential technologies to be deployed within industrial settings, and prioritisation of requirements for research and capital investment, and use of the outputs produced as part of the Network Plus which will identifies strengths and opportunities for UK industry and academia for future Industrial Systems in the Digital Age. This will enable them to decide on financial priorities, encourage partnerships between key industrial and academic stakeholders, and influence standards and regulatory frameworks.

- General public: through new insight into the future notions for Digital Manufacturing. This will be achieved through our website, podcasts and videos, as well as the externally available reports.


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