Cranfield University has been awarded £468,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to build a Redistributed Manufacturing Network.
The work will be led by Dr Fiona Charnley, Centre for Creative Design, along with Professor Ashutosh Tiwari, head of the Manufacturing Informatics Centre.
It will enable Cranfield to bring together disciplines in manufacturing, design and environment to develop research for a redistributed and digitally connected model for consumer goods production.
Cranfield is part of a bigger partnership network which is known as RECODE – The Big Data, Consumer Goods and Redistributed Manufacturing Network.
The partners include the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), Brunei University and the University of Manchester Business School.
The network aims to develop a multi-disciplinary vision and research agenda associated with the application of big data in the transition towards a redistributed manufacturing model for consumer goods.
A number of researchers (from across the partnership network) will work with key industrial partners including Cisco, Unilever, and IBM to close the gap between manufacturers, suppliers and consumers.
This will provide opportunities for personalisation of products and services, upscaling of local enterprise and the development of user-driven products to local markets which, in turn, will provide economic competitiveness to the UK.