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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M017591/1
Principal Investigator: Tooze, Mr J
Other Investigators:
Baurley, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Cathedral Group PLC The Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
Department: School of Design
Organisation: Royal College of Art
Scheme: Network
Starts: 01 January 2015 Ends: 12 June 2017 Value (£): 467,177
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Oct 2014 RDM Networks Announced
26 Nov 2014 RDM Networks Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The main aim of the Network is to develop a shared multi-disciplinary vision and research agenda for the the role of makespaces in re-distributed manufacturing. A makespace is a catch-all term for an open access community fabrication workshop. It encompasses Fab Labs, Hackerspaces, Makerspaces and other facilities that can broadly be described as spaces with a suite of fabrication tools and technologies openly accessible for use by a community. The cross-disciplinary network of academic, industrial and policy experts will establish the future place, purpose and philosophy of makespaces within re-distributed manufacturing and investigate key drivers in enabling sustainable re-distributed manufacturing at a grassroots level. Insights will be gained into the opportunities for decentralised manufacturing and product innovation in makespaces, the role of makespaces in local communities and to nearby manufacturing businesses, as part of digital networks and in national and global supply chains. This will initially involve hosting research workshops and public facing discussions with invited experts, conducting research in towns and cities in the UK to map the current and potential interplay between makespaces and manufacturing businesses, waste management companies, education centres, suppliers and retailers. Following this work a set of feasibility studies will be run in order to trial potential opportunities and understand barriers and challenges. These activities together will signpost the research needed to fully explore the role makespaces can play in the future in acting as vital constituent in a rich landscape of re-distributed manufacturing. The Network will publish these research challenges to the wider community.

The network will be co-ordinated by Sharon Baurley at the Royal College of Art, who brings extensive experience of working in academia and collaborative research with industry. The network includes a broad spectrum of academics with expertise in industrial design and manufacturing, materials, standards and regulation of emerging technologies, technology and innovation policy, geographies of innovation and technological change, geographies of creative practice, sustainability and environmental impact, urban policy and regeneration, cities and climate change, waste management systems, new economic and business models enabled by the digital economy, interactive cooperative systems, digital innovation and IT as a utility. The network will also include the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) as well as makespaces from across the UK, micro and SME manufacturing businesses, waste management and recycling companies, software developers, technologists and technology developers and GOs and NGOs with interests in craft, design, innovation and manufacturing.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.rca.ac.uk