Available Facilities and Expertise

The Pitch-In partner universities of Sheffield, Cambridge, Oxford and Newcastle have a variety of facilities and expertise available which provide opportunities for industry engagement. These might include access to consultancy and expertise, demonstrators showcasing how new innovations might be implemented, or dedicated translational research facilities which bridge the gap between university research and industry need.

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Please use the filters to search by university location.

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing helps manufacturers of any size to become more competitive by introducing advanced techniques, technologies and processes.
Their 100-plus industrial partners range from global giants like Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Airbus to small companies. Businesses can work with them on a one-off project, or join as a member for long-term collaboration.

Factory 2050


The AMRC Integrated Manufacturing Group (IMG) is driving world-class reconfigurable manufacturing technology. IMG works with industrial and academic partners to bring together advanced technologies, such as robotics, augmented reality and large-volume metrology, to develop innovative, integrated systems that ensure complex structures are assembled perfectly, the first time and every time. The Group’s new £43 million home is Factory 2050, the UK’s first state of the art factory entirely dedicated to conducting collaborative research into reconfigurable robotic, digitally assisted assembly and machining technologies. The facility is designed to address the rising need for high variation and mass customisation manufacturing throughout a diverse range of engineering sectors.

Their main research themes are:

  • – Digitally assisted assembly
  • – Integrated large volume metrology
  • – Robotics and automation
  • – Manufacturing informatics

Contact:


Dr Geraint Jones, Pitch-In Operations Manager
E: d.g.jones@sheffield.ac.uk / T: +44 114 222 4598

For broader enquiries about the AMRC please visit:
www.amrc.co.uk

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Oxford University has several spaces and programmes from which industry and start-ups can base themselves to access IoT expertise from the University.

Begbroke Science Park, a flexible, supportive environment encourages links between high-tech science-based spinouts, their more established counterparts and the University. Buildings include the Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT), the Centre for Innovation and Enterprise (CIE) and the Begbroke Innovation Accelerator (BIA).

Bioescelator at the University of Oxford provides a flexible lab space for new and developing life science innovations – building a community of entrepreneurial, collaborative people who will help achieve a vision of moving more innovation from the labs towards the clinic.

Contact:
Andy Gilchrist, Pitch-In Operations Manager, the University of Oxford
E: andy.gilchrist@mpls.ox.ac.uk  T: +44 (0) 7714 598113

For broader enquiries about the facilities please visit:
www.bioescalator.ox.ac.uk
www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk

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The Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) based as the University of Cambridge is a control engineering based Digital Manufacturing research centre.

New capabilities to link computer networks to sensors and identification technologies, such as radio frequency identification (RFID), mean almost any information about an individual product or component can be obtained in real time with worldwide traceability providing many benefits. DIAL  is concerned with helping companies take advantage of these exciting opportunities.

DIAL includes extensive experience in the field of Artificial Intelligence, RFID and sensor networks, product information management, decision-making and smart manufacturing control. It’s home to one of seven Auto-ID Labs around the world exploring how manufacturing, supply chain and service operations can be transformed by the use of emerging technologies, and played a key role in establishing the underpinning concepts behind the Internet of Things.

DIAL is also home to a state-of-art laboratory environment that emulates a fully integrated and automated smart manufacturing system. It is composed of three cells, i.e. one manufacturing cell, one assembly cell and one product-testing cell. Five anthropomorphic industrial robots and one SCARA (Selective Compliant Assembly Robot Arm) robot are currently available, together with one CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining centre, a vacuum forming machine and a suite of 3D printers. A SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system and three latest generation modular compact PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) are also available, with capabilities to handle both HF (High-Frequency) and UHF (Ultra-High-Frequency) RFID deployed at the single product item level. This laboratory will be the base for a number of key demonstrators in the PITCH IN project.

Contact
Dr Alexandra Brintrup, Pitch-In Manufacturing theme lead, the University of Cambridge
E: ab702@cam.ac.uk / T: +44 1223 764306

For broader enquiries about the facility please visit:
www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/research/dial

 

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Oxford University also has several Centres supporting entrepreneurs. These are always looking for industrial mentors to support activity. These include:

Startup Incubator, Oxford University Innovation’s hub giving free support aimed at members and ex- members of the University of Oxford wanting to start or grow entrepreneur-driven ventures that are not University spinouts.

The Foundry, a student-led community where innovation and creativity lives and breathes.

The Entrepreneurship Centre, which supports Saïd Business School’s community in pursuing their entrepreneurial ambitions through experiential learning, local and global networks, and thought leadership.

Enterprising Oxford, a web site co-ordinating support for entrepreneurship.

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The IfM is a division of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. IfM Education and Consultancy Services (IfM ECS) provides consultancy and executive and professional development – based on the new ideas and approaches developed at the IfM – to help policymakers and manufacturing and technology companies around the world create and capture value more effectively.

IfM ECS Ltd is a key route for knowledge exchange from Cambridge’s Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL). Through links withlocal, national and international industry it will encourage the adoption of current DIAL research in areas such as:

– Digital Twins
– Information Requirements for Asset Management
– Value of Information
– Machine Learning and Prognostics
– Manufacturing Analytics

Supporting business

Whatever the size or type of your manufacturing or technology company – from multinational to start-up – IfM ECS can work alongside you to you address some of the considerable economic and political uncertainties faced. Everyone is talking about a ‘digital revolution’ but are not sure what it means for them right now and in the future. One thing is for sure: now, more than ever, companies need to be innovating their business models, their products and services and their manufacturing and supply networks on a continual basis.

They have developed a number of business tools which can be used in a wide variety of contexts. These include roadmapping, a powerful technique for capturing and making sense of the huge amounts of connected data needed to inform effective decision-making. The roadmapping methods can be readily adapted to different needs and contexts, ranging from the overarching business and innovation strategies to planning for individual products, services or technology. Roadmapping can also be used in conjunction with a wide range of other IfM tools and techniques.

Contact
Dr Alexandra Brintrup, Pitch-In Manufacturing theme lead, the University of Cambridge
E: ab702@cam.ac.uk / T: +44 1223 764306

For broader enquiries about the opportunities available visit:
www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/ifmecs

 

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Newcatle University’s MindSphere Lab launched in 2018 in their flagship Urban Sciences Building. The Lab showcases the huge impact of digitalisation on industry and will provide users with access to Siemens’ open cloud-based platform, MindSphere.

Together with customers, SMEs and academic partners, the team are seeking to uncover new business models and create new opportunities that were previously thought to be impossible. The Urban Sciences Building is also home to the Siemens’ MindSphere Application Centre (MAC) for Connected Batteries which is part of a global network of innovation hubs. The MAC supports the drive of digital service offerings and, by working with customers, aims to solve real problems that bring about real value for the end user.

Contact
Graeme Young, Pitch-In Operations Manager, Newcastle University
E: graeme.young@ncl.ac.ukT: +447771930316

For broader enquiries about the facility please visit:
www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/latest/2018/05/mindsphere/

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The MindSphere Lounge, situated in the Diamond building at the University of Sheffield (UoS), furthers collaboration between Siemens, the University of Sheffield, and businesses to accelerate digitalisation, boost digital skills, and promote technology and knowledge exchange to meet the needs of an increasingly digitalised industry.

The physical working space provides the opportunity to demonstrate real examples of digital solutions, as well as providing a high quality venue for public presentations and events, research workshops, seminars, teaching, meetings, and student access to library services. It also provides access to MindSphere, Siemens’ Internet of Things (IoT) operating system and data analytics services, alongside support from two Siemens engineers on site.

The MindSphere Lounge is the first facility to join the MindSphere Innovation Network (MINe), a global network developed by Siemens in order to connect a universities’ estate and research assets into MindSphere. The MINe brings together academic partners, Siemens, and their customers to overcome challenges and derive greater value from industrial data.

Pitch-In Opportunities
Businesses can develop diverse and innovative digital solutions to their IoT industry challenges through collaborations with students, academics and Siemens, gaining insights into data analytics, visualisation and cyber security.

Contact:
Dr Geraint Jones, Pitch-In Operations Manager
E: d.g.jones@sheffield.ac.uk / T: +44 114 222 4598

For broader enquiries about the MindSphere Lounge or the Siemens partnership please visit:
www.sheffield.ac.uk/business/partners-collaborators/siemens

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The National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI) at Newcastle University brings together energy experts from around the world to help unravel the energy network and understand future supply and demand.

The Centre paves the way to a flexible smart infrastructure, empowering customers and giving them greater control of their energy use. It allows industry to meet the tough new low carbon targets. Providing us with robust messages about the real world, the aim is to understand how we can optimise the energy network, drive down customer bills and inform future government policy.

CESI currently has over 34 industrial and government organisations collaborating with their team of academics and researchers. They provide:

– a steer on the relevance of our work
– access to their experts for consultation
– access to resources such as engineers, labs, data and other valuable assets
– front-line insight to the needs of the industry and their customers

Contact
Graeme Young, Pitch-In Operations Manager, Newcastle University
E: graeme.young@ncl.ac.ukT: +447771930316

For broader enquiries about the facility please visit:
www.ncl.ac.uk/cesi

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The National Innovation Centre for Ageing provides a dynamic environment within which multiple stakeholders can come together to share knowledge, ideas, experience and innovation. Their vision is to create a world in which we all live better, for longer.

The  Centre:

  • Leads on innovations that improve all aspects of life for our ageing societies
  • Works collaboratively to create a society that is better equipped to meet the opportunities and challenges associated with ageing populations

They do this by:
– Bringing together world-leading scientists, business and industry, health and care providers, and the public, to develop, test and bring to market products and services which enhance and improve quality of life as we age
– Continually challenging what we know about growing older

Their unique access to expertise drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines, business and industry, and ageing adults means that we are aware of market trends, health and social care challenges, and the latest innovations in industry.

Contact
Graeme Young, Pitch-In Operations Manager, Newcastle University
E: graeme.young@ncl.ac.ukT: +447771930316

For broader enquiries about the facility please visit:
www.ncl.ac.uk/nica

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Newcastle University’s Urban Observatory gathers huge amounts of data on everything from flooding to air pollution, traffic flows and even the behaviour of bees so that informed decisions can be made as we develop our cities for the future. With 70% of people living in cities by 2050, this work is vitally important to ensure that informed decisions can be made to protect the environment as urban areas are developed.

Funded in partnership with the UK Collaboration for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC), the Urban Observatory is the largest sensor deployment in the UK and the largest set of open environmental monitoring data in the world.

Users and developers can access this data via the website.

Contact:
Graeme Young, Pitch-In Operations Manager, Newcastle University
E: graeme.young@ncl.ac.ukT: +447771930316

For further information about the programme visit:
www.urbanobservatory.ac.uk

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