Cranfield University’s Professor of Manufacturing, Rajkumar Roy, says UK manufacturers could be global leaders in new sectors created from cross-sector collaboration and the innovative exploitation of technology.

Reacting to the British Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey for Q4 2015 which revealed that the UK’s manufacturing sector was close to stagnation, Professor Roy said Britain led the world in cross-sector collaboration and in his view we should leverage this to create new manufacturing industries combining multi-sector research and knowledge.

Professor Roy said: “Cross-sector collaboration could combine thinking around issues common to a number of sectors, such as the degradation of complex engineering systems. It could also provide economic advantages through using technologies invented for one area and applying them in a different context.

“One example that could see significant development is medical devices using technology from materials science research, for instance sensor development in manufacturing and aerospace. 

“Another new area to consider is through-life engineering services: the support element of the design, make and support cycle of manufacturing. This is relevant for high value long-life products, and addresses issues like component obsolescence, self-repair materials, technologies and systems – common across sectors.

“We can create new businesses, new opportunities and lead the world in manufacturing.”

Professor Roy also calls for government help to make the UK a key destination for manufacturing companies by helping to enable a joined-up environment between the UK’s science base, catapults (centres designed to transform the UK's capability for innovation and help drive future economic growth)  and the small and medium enterprises which form a company’s supply chain.

For more details of Professor Roy’s blueprint for UK manufacturing, read his blog here:

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Manufacturing at Cranfield

We provide world-class and niche research, education, training and consultancy in manufacturing and play a key role in ensuring that the UK remains at the cutting edge of manufacturing research.

We are unique in our multi-disciplinary approach by bringing together design, technology and management insight. We are a driving force for both the rapid growth of established areas of manufacturing expertise and the development of new research areas.

Research partnerships are undertaken with more than 500 organisations of all sizes and disciplines and industry advisory panels ensure our graduates move seamlessly from the academic world into the world of work and provide skills the sector needs.

Our world-class facilities include the Ultra Precision Machining Laboratory, which houses a range of ultra-precision diamond turning machines and is the UK's national facility for large x-ray optics manufacture.