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University of Bath to receive part of a £12 million grant aimed at improving UK manufacturing competitiveness through the development of ICT

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Written by:   | Posted 05-April-2013 11:00

Computers are an established and necessary part of everyday life, especially in business and industry but new research at the University of Bath could make the role of ICT even more significant.

The university is to receive part of a £12 million grant aimed at improving the manufacturing competitiveness of the UK through the development of ICT.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is making the awards as part of a £45 million package of investments in manufacturing research.

At the University of Bath, Dr Ben Hicks will lead a £1.9 million project aimed at producing a new suite of ICT tools and a ‘next generation project dashboard’ to address major issues in modern engineering projects.

The research will look at cloud computing, crowdsourcing, gaming technology, and ICT dashboards and platforms, to provide new ways to develop, design and manage manufacturing.

Dr Hicks said: “Modern engineering projects such as aircraft manufacture operate globally, and involve thousands of engineers and companies. Managing such collaborative, large-scale, high-value engineering projects and the communications within them is complex and risky.

“Companies need to minimise delivery setbacks cost overruns, risk and collapsed projects. Overruns on engineering projects cost the US economy $150 million a day.”

Dr Hicks and the research team will analyse the relationship between emails and Computer Aided Design (CAD) models, simulations and reports in order to predict the status and performance of a project.

They will identify the successful characteristics of project phases, and create methods to aid the management of intellectual property.

Mark Claydon-Smith, from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said: “Advanced manufacturing is highly knowledge-intensive and ICT has a huge role to play in improving manufacturing intelligence, supporting collaboration, increasing efficiency, speeding up innovation and enabling new business models and technologies.”

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