Manufacturing the Future 2015, September 2015

The fourth EPSRC Manufacturing the Future Conference was hosted by the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge on 17 and 18 September 2015, where some of the UK’s leading academics, industrialists and senior government representatives discussed how new research and government programmes can support the needs of the UK’s key manufacturing sectors.

Speakers included Amanda Brooks, Head of Innovation at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Head of the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge.

Speakers from industry include Simon Locke, Head of Manufacturing Engineering at Dyson, Steve Hope, General Manager, Toyota Europe and Andy Harrison, Chief Life Cycle Engineer, Rolls-Royce as well as senior executives from AstraZeneca, Jaguar Land Rover, Laing O’Rourke, PepsiCo, Siemens and Unilever.

All speakers considered how academic research is already having an impact in priority areas and what more needs to be done to ensure the UK improves its competitiveness in key sectors in the medium and long term.

Day one of the conference focused on four main themes: processes and technologies; manufacturing systems; operations networks; and how to support the development of emerging technologies and industries. Day two included presentations from the EPSRC funded Centres for Innovative Manufacturing on how the UK’s leading research teams are working with industrial partners to support the commercial development of new manufacturing research.