This research area focuses on key enabling technologies that will allow manufacturing processes, products and systems to function with high efficiency and reliability, and appropriate precision and flexibility.
This research area focuses on key enabling technologies that will allow manufacturing processes, products and systems to function with high efficiency, reliability and repeatability, and appropriate precision and flexibility. It builds on a wide range of other fields of science and engineering (including other research council remits), allowing development of:
- novel or improved manufacturing processes and machines (for example, metrology, control)
- novel or improved products (for example, advanced materials)
- novel or improved systems (for example information and communication technologies (ICT) and energy).
This research area is vital to supporting UK prosperity and productivity across a broad range of industry sectors. In view of this, we have provided significant support for the area, particularly via investment in critical mass activities (such as Future Manufacturing Research Hubs) and support for research leaders.
We will invest in research addressing the most important challenges for UK manufacturing. For example:
- the manufacture of new, emerging products
- digital manufacturing
- sustainable industries and the circular economy
- local or bespoke manufacturing.
We have several aims set out below.
Increase the proportion of research led by investigators within the area
We will work with the manufacturing community to identify challenges inspired by industry and will support the multidisciplinary interfaces (particularly with biological sciences and ICT) that are essential to meeting the skills and technology needs of the factories of the future.
We will ensure that breakthroughs in basic research fro m across science and engineering are supported to deliver a pathway to manufacture.
Attract and retain talent throughout the career pipeline
We will have a particular focus on identifying and developing future leaders. We will work with the manufacturing community to attract the best potential researchers from a diverse population into Manufacturing Technologies research. In addition, we will continue to encourage mobility between industry and academia.
Encourage engagement with industry
Enable researchers to support the pathway to scale-up and manufacture by facilitating and encouraging engagement with industry and Catapults.
Build on existing infrastructure and facilities
Capitalise on the UK’s existing infrastructure and facilities that support manufacturing research, especially by encouraging the sharing of facilities.