Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171

Advanced VR Research Centre

Growing Capacity and Shaping Capability in Digitalization Transformation


This work is supported in part by the Royal Academy of Engineerng and Airbus under the Research Chairs Scheme.

Digitalization has the potential to transform the UK's manufacturing, service industries and associated infrastructure systems. This project seeks to work with aerospace SME, supply-chains and other organisations in the East Midlands to develop their digitalization capabilities by establishing a highly efficient integrated supply-chain ecosystem that is connected and smart. It aims to bring about urgent transformational changes and new approaches underpinning high-value engineering supply-chains needed by industry to survive and secure a competitive edge.

As described in the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy for SMEs to be competitive and remain viable they must embrace the evolving digitalization landscape and exploit new Industry 4.0 technologies, processes and skills. This means cascading digitalization processes through traditional supply-chains, from siloed processes of marketing, product development, manufacturing and distribution to more tightly coupled integrated information environments that deliver greater accuracy, availability of data and reporting.

Aims and Objectives

1. Engage with regional supply-chains, SMEs and other organisations, developing opportunities where digitalization can bring about crucial step changes in efficiencies and productivity.

2. Provide guidelines/consultation on how to establish a digitalization strategy.

3. Deliver high-profile programme of events, networking, workshops, dissemination and exploitation activities selectively geared to improving the understanding of digitalization within regional SMEs, local enterprise partnerships and others supporting local economic development, including promoting public awareness.

4. Demystify, digitalization technologies (such as analytics, artificial intelligence, block chain, digital-twin, machine learning, model-based engineering etc.) and improve understanding, with clarity the data-driven economy that involves digitally connected, large scale data that can be rapidly analysed by technology and innovation.

5. Demonstrate and disseminate cross-sector best practice and lessons learnt on the exploitation of digitalization in manufacturing, drawing on recent developments in the international community.

6. Initial mapping of digitalization readiness levels in participating SMEs to identify gaps and digital toolchain limitations

7. Define and prioritise future digitalization skill-base requirements for the participating regional SMEs to keep pace with technological change.

8. Engage with regional schools to inform STEM teachers and inspire students about the exciting changes in engineering and the need for new digitalization skills in the future.

9. Provision of commercial neutral (vendor agnostic) consultation and impartial online resource of case study examples of digitalization strategies and adoption.

Digitialization inspired Events will be announced in due course

This work is supported in part by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Airbus under the Research Chairs Scheme


Want to Know More?

Professor Roy S. Kalawsky, r.s.kalawsky@lboro.ac.uk, +44 (0)1509 63 5678