New directors for Made Smarter Innovation programme

Team of computer engineers

Two new co-directors have been announced to lead the research and network strand of the £147 million Made Smarter Innovation programme.

Jillian MacBryde from the University of Strathclyde and Jan Godsell from the University of Warwick will take up the roles with immediate effect. They will be working within the Economic and Social Research Council.

Community of stakeholders

The co-directors will work alongside the challenge director and programme team for an initial five-month period. They will look to create a wider community of stakeholders and research into a Made Smarter Network Plus.

The Network Plus aims to bring together economic and social science insights across the challenge and the wider UK manufacturing sector. It will provide academic leadership and activities to bolster engagement and collaboration opportunities for digital technology innovation within manufacturing.

About Jillian MacBryde

Jillian MacBryde is a Professor of Innovation and Operations Management at the University of Strathclyde.

Her work is focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly the link between technology and social science.

Jillian previously held deputy and vice dean roles at the York Management School and Strathclyde Business School.

About Jan Godsell

Jan Godsell is a Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy at WMG, University of Warwick.

Her work is focused on supply chain design and strategy, as well as process improvement and sustainability.

Jan is part of a range of supply chain industry groups, including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy supply chain resilience advisory group. She advises government and business on strategic activity in this area.

Leadership and insight

Chris Courtney, Challenge Director for Made Smarter Innovation, said of the appointments:

Digital technologies have the power to radically transform how we manufacture and deliver the products and services of the future and deliver a more resilient, prosperous economy with fundamental changes to the nature of work.

A key part of delivering an optimal future in manufacturing will be enabled by harnessing the insights from the broader economic, social, regulatory and political sciences.

I’m delighted to welcome Jan and Jill to the overall effort as co-directors, combining two of our leading academics in this space bringing leadership, insight with a passion for manufacturing.

I’m excited to get this work underway and to support Jill and Jan as they reach out to the broad network of capability to engage and shape a vital and exciting programme of work.

Drive the digital revolution

Jillian commented:

There’s real opportunity for manufacturing firms to embrace digital technology and become more competitive and ‘future ready’.

But it is not all about technology, many of the barriers to change are to do with issues such as culture, skills, attitudes to risk, etc. So it is important to engage with a wider community, helping manufacturing firms on their journey.

The Made Smarter Network Plus will allow us to bring in people from the economic and social sciences, which will help drive the digital revolution, and at the same time open up new avenues for research.

Jan added:

The scope for improving the flexibility, sustainability and productivity of the UK manufacturing sector is huge, so I was keen to take this role to partner with Jillian on introducing research and new ideas to the industry.

Introducing these important external influences in an effective way will require a deep understanding of the specific needs and demands on the manufacturing sector, which I hope I can bring to the Network Plus model to ensure it thrives for the benefit of all involved.

Register for the upcoming Made Smarter Network Plus townhall, 13 May 2021 12:30-14:00 (Eventbrite) where you can find out more about the programme and how to get involved.

Further information

About Made Smarter Innovation

Made Smarter Innovation is a national programme to help businesses who make things capitalise on new digital technologies.

Our programme will support the transformation of UK’s manufacturing capabilities through the development and innovation of industrial digital technologies.

We give UK manufacturers access to a digital innovation ecosystem that helps prove their idea, quickly develop it with experts and scale it.

The £300 million partnership between government and industry will provide match-funding, specialist advice and result in radical manufacturing solutions.

Made Smarter Innovation is delivered by UK Research and Innovation.

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