The Network Plus will deliver the following:

  • Establish and make visible multidisciplinary community related to Industrial Systems in the Digital Age – with a focus on the identification of the UK’s distinct opportunity in the international context and strength for new technologies, products and systems;
  • Bring together relevant disciplines including Manufacturing, ICT, AI, Human Factors, Business and Design to create new multidisciplinary teams that will address fundamental science challenges to support Industrial Systems in the Digital Age;
  • Run a series of networking activities, focussing on industry pull” to set the scope and focus of a series of “Beyond 4.0” challenges;
  • Support a set of discipline-bridging feasibility studies, each of which will deliver outputs including proposals to Innovate UK and EPSRC, case studies, and academic papers;
  • Link with other strategic actions including the RAS network, Redistributed Manufacturing networks, the Digital Economy and Cyber Security communities;
  • Work with SMEs, with particular attention paid to the opportunities of using SME data as test cases for feasibility studies funded within the Network Plus;
  • Lead a roadmapping exercise of UK capability beyond Industry 4.0, linking academic challenge with industry insight to identify demonstrators of future elements of Industrial Systems in the Digital Age (establishing a national “virtual testbed”).