Funding secured for research into Covid-19 impact on manufacturing


A research team from Strathclyde has been successful in securing funding from UKRI to understand the impact that the Covid-19 crisis has had on UK manufacturing and to identify priorities for renewal through innovation.

UKRI is funding projects to address the key challenges of coronavirus, not just around the health issues but also looking at the challenges for business and how we might start to shape our recovery and build for the future.

The project is being led by Professor Jill MacBryde from Strathclyde Business School with colleagues Remi Zante and Benoit Fernandez from the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and Tim Reckordt from the Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management. Working with industry bodies and using interviews and surveys, the project will build up a clearer picture of the effects of Covid-19 on manufacturing firms and supply chains. Using this data along with existing understanding of UK supply chains, the research team will analyse areas of particular vulnerability.

Parallel to this they will work with scenario experts to look at possible futures for a number of manufacturing supply chains. This will be useful to policy makers and those people who are trying to develop strategies within the manufacturing firms. The researchers will use their existing academic knowledge, combined with the data gathered to identify targeted actions that could help UK manufacturing to develop innovation capability, within the firm and also across supply chains. Ultimately the project hopes to provide insights into developing innovation capabilities that will help secure a stronger future for UK manufacturing.

Professor MacBryde said, "We know that the pandemic could have a shattering effect on UK manufacturing. There is an urgent need for action if we are to “limit the scarring effects of the pandemic” on the future of UK manufacturing. Improving innovation capability within manufacturing firms and across manufacturing supply chains is going to be important if we are to 'build a future which is greener, safer and healthier than before'."

Published: 4 November 2020

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