Second Redistributed Manufacturing Healthcare Research Network (RiHN) workshop – 28 April 2015


Personalised medicine is estimated to grow to two billion euros by 2018. Redistributed Manufacturing (RDM) has the potential to support this growth. This involves a shift towards more localised production, enabling faster response, lower cost or better preservation of sensitive goods. RDM can provide tailored, right-first-time treatments to all patients, allowing for the best therapy for an individual patient to be rapidly determined. However, as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) points out, there are a range of technical and managerial challenges as well as business, regulatory and resource implications which must be understood and solved.

This workshop will be hosted by Redistributed Manufacturing Healthcare Research Network (RiHN). The RiHN aims to deliver a single vision of the research needed to position the UK at the forefront of healthcare manufacturing. Network partners include cross disciplinary researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Brunel, Nottingham, Newcastle, Loughborough and the West of England. The network is sponsored by the EPSRC and is supported by Innovate UK.

This free to attend event gives participants an opportunity to network with healthcare professionals, scope out R&D issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective, establish early stage collaborations and formulate potential areas of investigation that can be tested and scaled up into larger R&D programmes.

Key outputs from the day will help shape a future call in June 2015, which will invite bids to compete for 5-6 feasibility studies, worth £65k each. If you have an interest in pharmaceuticals and advanced therapeutics, we strongly recommend that you attend. This is the second of two workshops; the first was oriented towards medical devices, diagnostics and dentistry.

Date: 28 April 2015

Venue:  Vaughan Parry Williams Pavillion, Highfields Sports Ground, University of Nottingham, University Park Campus

Register here

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Developing a UK Strategy for Additive Manufacturing: Help needed

On March 10th, the first workshop to be run as part of the process to develop a UK Strategy for Additive Manufacturing (AM) was held at the MTC in Coventry. The event brought together representatives from a diverse range of organisations with an interest in AM, including leading manufacturing firms, AM/3DP service providers, sector networks, government agencies and universities.

The workshop was an important step in a year-long process of working with the AM community to help coordinate the development, diffusion and adoption of AM technology to support the UK’s industrial competitiveness. Drawing upon lessons captured by colleagues from the Centre for Science Technology and Innovation Policy on the development of public technology strategies in other countries, the development of the UK national strategy for AM will be developed using a combination of techniques. These will include multi-organisation workshops, calls for written evidence, working groups, white papers, and on-line communities.

The two key aims of the first workshop were to share the plan for developing the strategy with the AM community in order to build awareness and encourage engagement, and to use the substantial and diverse experience of the attendees to help target specific areas where evidence gathering should be targeted. Ideas were captured from 100 attendees using a simple structured ‘landscaping’ exercise.

Although the workshop was heavily over-subscribed, it was felt that several key areas were under-represented (e.g. the healthcare, IP, investment, maker and education communities). To address this, a second event will be run on the 25th March at the University of Nottingham. If you would like to apply to attend this event, please contact Phill Dickens or Donna Cope.

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New Bit by Bit paper on the economic implications of additive manufacturing

At the invitation of Prof.  Frédéric Theisse, Chair of Information Systems Engineering as the University of Würzburg, the Bit by Bit team recently joined forces with collaborators at the University of Stuttgart, RWTH Aachen University and Darmstadt University of Technology on a paper about the future of additive manufacturing.

The resulting article “Economic Implications of Additive Manufacturing and the Contribution of MIS” provides an overview  of additive manufacturing as an industrial manufacturing technique; describes how additive manufacturing may enable a shift from user innovation to user manufacturing; discusses the impact of the technology on economy and society, and envisions a research agenda for 3D printing-enabled re-distributed manufacturing. No prizes for guessing what we contributed!

The article will soon be published in Business & Information Systems Engineering and is now available to read online.

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Research topics from 3DP-RDM feasibility study proposals

As previously mentioned in the post on the close of the 3DP-RDM feasibility study competition, a huge diversity of discplines and approaches were represented in the 34 proposals we received. While for confidentiality reasons we cannot list all of the submissions, the following list provides an overview of the research topics proposed.

  • 3D printed self-assemblies
  • Adaptive equipment for the elderly
  • CAD methods and tools
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Cyber security
  • Data transfer standards
  • Design methods
  • Equipment repairs
  • Material supply chains
  • Micro factories
  • Multi criteria decision analysis
  • Networking systems
  • Novel AM technologies
  • Predictive modelling
  • Rapid manufacturing
  • Security
  • Services
  • Stakeholder protection
  • Total cost modelling

Sectors represented include healthcare, food, aerospace and textiles. Of these, healthcare was the most prominent, with it the application domain in several proposals.

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Special session on additive manufacturing at APMS 2015

The Advances in Production Management Systems (APMS) Conference will be held in Tokyo, Japan this year from 5-9 September. The theme of the conference is “Innovative production management towards sustainable growth: Service, Manufacturing, and Resilient Value-chain”.

The conference includes a number of special sessions. Together with Dr Mélanie Despeisse from the Centre for Industrial Sustainability at IfM we are inviting contributions for our special session on “The role of additive manufacturing in value chain reconfigurations and sustainability“. Papers that speak to this topic should be submitted via the online system by 31st March. If you have any questions about possible papers then please get in touch with us.

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Exploring how 3D printing is changing the world around us


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