The network will aim to develop an active and engaged community through which to identify, test and evaluate a multi-disciplinary vision and research agenda associated with the application of big data in the transition towards a re-distributed manufacturing model for consumer goods.
A wide community of national and international academics, experts, user groups, government, policy makers and industrial organisations will directly benefit from the new scientific knowledge and theoretical advancement created through activities, research findings and multi-media outputs of the network over the two year duration Research at the interfaces of big data and re-distributed manufacturing within the context of the multi-trillion dollar consumer goods industry presents significant economic, social, environmental and technological opportunities to be realised over the next 2, 5 and 10 years.
The growth in global big data technology and services is predicted to reach USD 16.9 billion in 2015 with the number of big data staff specialists set to increase by 240% over the next five years in the UK alone. The research challenges to be investigated by the network will contribute to understanding of skills and training required for interpreting big data and transforming industries ensuring that the UK can take full advantage of opportunities for job creation.
Closing the gap between manufacturers, suppliers and consumers will provide opportunities for personalisation of products and services, up scaling of local enterprise and the development of user-driven products that are tuned to the requirements of local markets providing economic competitiveness for the UK. The network has the potential to re-define the consumer goods industry by changing the economics and organisation of manufacturing, particularly with regard to location and scale. This can be achieved by providing companies with new competitive advantage through data-driven insights into their businesses, consumers and new business models through which to achieve system level change.
This network can also contribute to the emergence of a whole new industry sector that specialises in providing big data analytics for the consumer goods industry. Moving towards a localised and regenerative model of consumer goods manufacture will create more efficient and effective supply chains capable of on-demand responses and therefore increasing productivity and competitiveness of the manufacturing industry.
Furthermore organisations will have the ability to re-capture and re-deploy valuable materials and resources therefore reducing the cost of raw materials and increasing the margin of products and services. A revolutionised understanding of consumer behaviour and the empowerment of customer interaction will inform opportunities for new services and circular business models through which the organisation will retain ownership of consumer goods, significantly reducing the amount of consumer goods that currently end up as landfill (80%). Engaging consumer groups will increase knowledge of UK manufacturing and debunk old-fashioned perceptions of the industry.
An improved understanding of how big data can be harnessed and shared has significant opportunity for the discovery of new products, services, organisations and even industry sectors.
- Cranfield: Dr Fiona Charnley PI (Design and Manufacture for a Circular Economy, Prof. Ashutosh Tiwari (Manufacturing Informatics)
- Manchester: Prof. Philip Shapira (Innovation Technology Management, Dr Babis Theodoulidis (data/information management, analytics, data governance, service analytics)
- Brunel: Dr Harris Makatsoris (Complex Systems), Dr Mark Atherton (Robust Systems)
- Cambridge: Prof. Andy Neely (Manufacturing Servitisation), Dr Mohammed Zaki (Big Data Analytics)
- Teesside: Dr Graham Hillier (Process Innovation)
Associated Partners in this project include:
Beijing Institute of Technology (China), Bedfordshire Chamber of Cisco Systems, Dragon Rouge, EEF, Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), Environcom Fraunhofer ISI (Germany), Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), Granta, High Value Manufacturing Catapult, IBM, Interoute Communications, Manchester Chamber of Commerce, NEMODE, Sustainable Consumption Institute, Philips, WRAP.