New projects in the GVC Research Cluster

EU Horizon 2020- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions project called MAKERS - Smart Manufacturing for EU Growth and Prosperity

This European Union funded project aims to better understand the renaissance of European manufacturers. The project will bring together actors from business, academia and policy to study issues related to the drivers and dynamics of sustaining the competitiveness of EU manufacturing sectors. The project’s research, training and mobility activities will address key concerns related to the historic opportunity for the EU to lead a process of manufacturing renaissance that not only enables the upgrading of existing manufacturing competences, but more importantly that develops and anchors new technological capabilities across EU regions to support regional industrial resilience for more distributed and sustainable socio-economic growth and prosperity. The debate about manufacturing renaissance started in the US in the post-crisis scenario in view of refocusing the attention on manufacturing for a balanced growth. The EU growth agenda has equally expressed a commitment to revive manufacturing sectors across EU regions. Indeed, a concurrence of policy initiatives is converging towards supporting the upgrading of EU manufacturing.

The MAKERS project will create an EU-wide network of researchers as well as policy and business stakeholders to study which drivers and bottlenecks are impacting on the process of manufacturing renaissance currently underway in the EU. The project is a three year programme led by Lisa de Propris and supported by Ferran Vendrell-Herrero, Paulina Ramirez and Pamela Robinson at Birmingham Business School. The project begins in January 2016 and will continue through to December 2019.

The MAKERS Network includes 24 partners: 9 beneficiaries and 15 participating/collaborating organisations across the EU, US and Singapore. The MAKERS project has a training programme that comprises 1) annual summer schools in September that will cover the breadth of the themes studied in the project as well as address methodological requirements; 2) work package-specific Business-Academia-Policy (BAP) workshops; 3) dissemination activities within the network in conjunction with mobility, such as presentations at faculty seminar series, doctoral level guest lectures; 4) dissemination activities at events outside the network, such as presentations at international conferences, policy fora and multi-media engagement.

MAKERS will create an innovative multi-stakeholder platform across business, academic, and policy leaders to reach a better understanding of how to recreate and deliver a robust, competitive and sustainable manufacturing basis to EU economies.