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Made smarter innovation: Centre for people-led digitalisation

We are working with the manufacturing industry to help equip people with the right knowledge and skills for successful digitalisation.


£5 million

Project status

In progress


1 Sep 2021 to 28 Feb 2025

Digital technologies have the potential to transform manufacturing by increasing productivity and opening up new business opportunities. However, the UK has had lower levels of adoption than some of our competitors. While this may appear a purely technical challenge to overcome, in practice many of the most pressing barriers are because of the ‘human’ element. For example, a digital skills gap, implementation that fails to support human capability, employee resistance, or a lack of senior management support or vision.

Our vision

We aim to be the world leader in providing people-led solutions to enable the manufacturing sector to have right-first-time digitalisation.

Our mission

We will create needs-driven processes to support industry in realising the potential of a people-led approach to digitalisation. We place our most valuable asset - people - at the core of our solutions. We work in close partnership with industry to sustain and grow an enduring competitive advantage, by enabling digitally-engaged people and processes for UK manufacturing.

What is novel about our research?

Manufacturers have highlighted the need for digitally-engaged people to realise the full potential of digitalisation. They know that the adoption and uptake of appropriate digital technologies will enable their manufacturing business to thrive. However, many industry and academic activities have a single focus such as new technology, tools or digital interfaces. Our industrial partners stated they need more. They want to focus on the people and unlocking their potential by changing the mindset of people ‘operating the equipment’ to ‘equipping the operator’.

Our people

Executive team

  • Professor Linda Newnes, Director (University of Bath)
  • Dr Susan Lattanzio, Deputy Director (University of Bath)
  • Dr Mey Goh (Loughborough University)
  • Dr Robert Houghton (University of Nottingham)

Wider team

University of Bath

Department of Mechanical Engineering

  • Professor Chris Brace
  • Professor Marcelle McManus
  • Dr Richard Burke
  • Dr Vimal Dhokia
  • Dr Joseph Flynn
  • Dr Evripides Loukaides
  • Dr Alborz Shokrani Chaharsooghi
  • Dr Nic Zhang

Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering

  • Dr Paul Shepherd

Department of Chemistry

  • Professor Matthew Davidson
  • Dr Ulrich Hintermair

Institute for Policy Research

  • Professor Nicholas Pearce
  • Dr Brett Edwards
  • Dr Charles Larkin

School of Management

  • Professor Philip Tomlinson
  • Dr Mariachiara Barzotto
  • Dr Maria Battarra
  • Dr Felicia Fai
  • Dr Aida Garcia Lazaro
  • Dr Vaggelis Giannikas

Institute for Mathematical Innovation

  • Professor Andreas Kyprianou
  • Dr Beate Ehrhardt

University of Nottingham

  • Professor Sarah Sharples, Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering

Loughborough University

  • Dr Rebecca Grant, School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Dr Ella-Mae Hubbard, School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering