An Aston Business School project to develop 3D virtual business worlds has been selected by Government to help improve the UK’s manufacturing competitiveness.
Professor Tim Baines will be leading a £1.5m project into the use of video gaming technologies and computer simulations in the manufacturing process.
The team of Aston, Coventry and Sheffield university researchers will be creating 3D digital worlds and simulations which can represent and handle the complex data systems of manufacturing companies. This virtual software will allow business managers to then discover how they can transform their company business models from solely manufacturing products only, to a potentially more robust and competitive services and products combination.
Industry collaborators helping to develop the project and software are; TEKS, Xerox UK Ltd, UK Council for Electronic Business, Technicut, Finning UK Ltd, Total Eclipse, Ford Motor Company, Serious Games International, SEMTA, Second Places Ltd, PlayGen, PERA Innovation, MAHER Ltd, MAN Truck and Bus Ltd, Virtualware Labs, Footprint Sheffield Ltd, AMRC, Birmingham Science Park, BIS, HCL Technologies Ltd, Alstom.
Tim Baines, Professor of Operations Strategy at Aston Business School, said;
“Three quarters of world-wide wealth is created through providing services so helping manufacturers compete in this way is seen as a huge opportunity, a competitive advantage, and key to manufacturing success in the UK. This research aims to use applied gaming technologies to help mainstream manufacturers to transform their company models to a more robust and competitive product service system model.”
The Aston led project is one of six research projects awarded £12m of Engineering and Physical Sciences Council grant funding as part of a £45m package of investments in manufacturing research announced by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.
The projects will use concepts of cloud computing, crowdsourcing, gaming technology, ICT dashboards and platforms to provide new ways to develop, design and manage manufacturing.
Mr Willetts, said; “The UK has a proud history of manufacturing but to build on this success industry needs access to the very latest science and technology. This £45 million package of investment will see our world-class research base investigating innovative new manufacturing equipment and techniques. This will support our industrial strategy in a range of important sectors, driving growth and keeping the UK ahead in the global race.”
Mark Claydon-Smith, Manufacturing the Future Lead, EPSRC added; “Advanced manufacturing is highly knowledge-intensive and ICT has a huge role to play in improving manufacturing intelligence, supporting collaboration, increasing efficiency, speeding up innovation and enabling new business models and technologies. These six projects demonstrate the collaborative nature of manufacturing research with nine universities and over 70 manufacturing partners working together.”
For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or email@example.com