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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 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.

What we're doing to fix this

Our mission is to be the world leader in providing people-led solutions to enable the manufacturing sector to have right-first-time digitalisation. 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 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’.

Contact us

Contact us if you're interested in our research or ways you can work with us.