Highly adaptable manufacturing processes capable of operating at small scales offer the possibility of a new understanding of where and how design, manufacture and services may be carried out to achieve the most appropriate mix of capability and employment but also to minimise environmental costs and to ensure resilience of provision. The Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter and the West of England and Cardiff University are leading a research network, funded by the EPSRC and ESRC, to study the potential impact of such re-distributed manufacturing (RDM) at the scale of the city and its hinterland, using Bristol as an example in its European Green Capital year, and concentrating on the issues of resilience and sustainability.
This network, the Re-distributed Manufacturing and the Resilient, Sustainable City (RDM|RSC) network, aims to study the impact of RDM from a number of disciplinary perspectives, bringing together experts in manufacturing, design, logistics, operations management, infrastructure, engineering systems, economics, geographical sciences, mathematical modelling and beyond. The network will also explore research mechanisms by which interdisciplinary teams may come together to address societal grand challenges and develop research agendas for their solution.
The network is holding its launch event in Bristol on 22 April. This event will introduce the network, initiate discussion on the key issues for the research agenda and start building a community of those with shared interests.
The Provisional Programme is as follows (full details will be circulated before the event):
10:30-11:00 Arrival and Registration
11:00-11:15 Introduction to the Re-distributed Manufacturing (RDM) network programme and to the RDM|RSC network
11:15-12:30 Perspectives on RDM and on the challenges of achieving resilient, sustainable cities
12:30-13:30 Lunch and networking
13:30-16:00 Presentations and workshop discussions on key issues and on approaches to research collaboration
16:00-16:30 Closing remarks