Cambridge Uni to help UK manufacturers remove IoT barriers

The University of Cambridge has joined the Pitch-In Project that will investigate the barriers to successful IoT take-up and strengthen digital manufacturing research programmes.

The project will involve Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing IfM – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

As reported earlier this month, the £4.9m project will be led by the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Newcastle.

Pitch-In-Project teams will trial solutions, and capture and share best-practice learnings and outcomes; and the aim is to focus on four priority sectors that are early adopters of IoT: health and wellbeing, digital manufacturing, energy systems, and smart cities.

As reported, the project will involve Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), which is part of the University’s Department of Engineering.

The IfM has been awarded £1m of the total funding to lead the manufacturing theme, while also supporting the smart cities element of the project.

Dr Alexandra Brintrup will lead the manufacturing theme as Cambridge’s principal investigator for the Pitch-In Project. She said the project would be a great opportunity to “increase the technology readiness levels for some of the state-of-the-art research that the University of Cambridge conducts in Industrial IoT.

Brintrup said:“The project will provide funding for feasibility studies and demonstrators, as well as creating pathways to remove industrial knowledge transfer barriers in this field through the development of best practice guidelines.

“Pitch-In greatly strengthens the IfM’s digital manufacturing research programme and supports engagement with the Cambridge cluster of high-technology companies.”

UK manufacturing competitiveness

Professor Tim Minshall, head of IfM, said the adoption of digital technologies will be key to the ongoing competitiveness of UK manufacturing firms of all sizes. “We are really excited by the opportunity this project offers to accelerate research and its application in this critical technology area,” he said.

The project supports the government’s new Industrial Strategy by significantly enhancing the commercialisation prospects of UK IoT research and technology.

David Sweeney, executive chair of Research England, said that within the Industrial Strategy, the government asked the project to improve the capability of the country to turn ideas into commercial products and services.

Sweeney said: “Universities have stepped forward in these projects to show that they can do world-class commercialisation, alongside world-class science. I believe these projects present important innovations that should inform our strategic approach to commercialisation in UK research and innovation for the future.”

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