School of Business and Economics


8 Nov 2021

Academics urged to come forward to support environmental innovation in UK manufacturing

Picture of factory emitting CO2

The UK manufacturing industry is set to receive a big boost towards reaching zero carbon with the creation of a new project aimed at siphoning the knowledge of the country’s leading social science experts.

Professor Jan Godsell - Dean of Loughborough's School of Business and Economics - will co-director a new network that will encourage academics to research the social and economic factors that will help UK manufacturing achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050.

Prof Godsell and Professor Jill MacBryde, of the University of Strathclyde, will lead the £4m InterAct initiative – a project funded by the UKRI’s £147m Made Smarter Innovation programme.

The network is a call to arms for academics from the social sciences to support the innovation and distribution of digital technologies that bolster the UK economy while also bringing it into line with national environmental targets.

The 38-month programme was launched on 8th November 2021 at Digital Manufacturing Week and is due to end in December 2024.

Alongside Prof Godsell and Prof MacBryde, the programme will also be supported by a Network Management Team and a core research team from Loughborough, Strathclyde and Sheffield universities.

Prof Godsell, said: “Looking to the future, our aspirations for InterAct is a community with clear added-value for all where stakeholder groups want to engage and be part of the Made Smarter Network Plus.

“We will embed diversity and inclusivity. Diversity of thought will bring benefits of multiple perspectives. Inclusivity will help us to embrace and collaborate with existing research groupings, rather than compete with them.

“Participation will be based on expertise, not status, and we will seek to develop people at all stages of their careers.

“Our vision of success would be that the InterAct is seen as a partner of choice; easy to work with, welcoming, and professional.

“Ultimately, we would like to be a one-stop-shop that curates existing and emerging knowledge and capabilities (research and education) and showcases leading practice.”

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