Manufacturing Made Smarter Network+ (MMSN+)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: WMG

Abstract

The aim of the ISCF Manufacturing Made Smarter (MMS) Challenge is to help UK manufacturing become more productive and competitive through the innovation and diffusion of industrial digital technology (IDT). Whilst technology is an important element, there are other contributing factors. We seek to identify and address these important aspects, particularly those from the economic and social sciences (ESS) through the creation of MMS Network+. This network will be led by Co-Directors (Co-D) Prof. Jan Godsell, University of Warwick and Prof. Jill MacBryde, University of Strathclyde. They will be champions for the ESS in the MMS Challenge.

Our long-term vision for the MMSN+ is to build a strong, vibrant, interdisciplinary community to support the MMS Challenge. Collaborative working, new challenges and contexts will open up avenues for world leading research. Looking forward, our aspirations for the MMSN+ is a community, with clear added-value for all, where stakeholder groups want to engage and be part of the MMSN+. We will encourage diversity and inclusivity. Diversity of thought will bring benefits of multiple perspectives. Inclusivity (at our core), will help us to embrace and collaborate with existing research groupings, rather than compete with them. Participation will be based on expertise, not status, and we will seek to develop people at all stages of their careers. Our vision of success would be that the MMSN+ is seen as a partner of choice - easy to work with, welcoming, and professional. Ultimately, we would like to be seen as a one-stop shop that curates existing & emerging knowledge and capabilities (research and education) and showcases leading practice. An example of successful interdisciplinary working, to which other nations aspire.

The Co-D will start building the foundations on March 1st 2021. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is at the core of the MMSN+. During this period, the Co-Ds will use a stakeholder mapping exercise, to help identify the full range of diverse voices that could inform the MMS Challenge. Based with this knowledge they will then use a series of workshops, on-line 'story gathering' and expert interviews to help to inform how the ESS can most effectively inform the MMS Challenge. This will also include an international comparators study.

They will also seek advice on the most effective way to structure the MMSN+, by learning from the experiences of other research networks both in the UK and beyond. The Co-Ds to consider how the network can be structured to encourage inclusivity and maximise impact.

This first phase draws to a close at the end of July 2021. There will be webinars to share the results of the 'story mapping' and international comparator studies. There will be a report and website launch too. The final drafting and submission of the MMSN+ proposal, draws together all the insights from the previous 5 months marks the end of this phase. The MMSN+ proposal will be reviewed and launched in October 2021.

Creating impact is at the core of the MMSN+. Resources will be available to the network to support more creative and impactful opportunities for dissemination and engagement. Beneficiaries from the first 5 months include the MMS Challenge owners, who will benefit from an evidence based view of the role that the ESS can play in supporting the Challenge. Manufacturers who will benefit from insights, into the way that the ESS can support the successful adoption of IDTs within their businesses. Policy makers wo will benefit from a more holistic view of the policy levers that may be able to support UK manufacturers to more successfully adopt IDT. Economic and social scientists who will benefit from the creation of an inclusive community, that embraces diversity, and finds innovative ways to inspire cross-disciplinary investigation. Finally, technology providers who will benefit from the connection and improved access to manufacturers

Publications

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