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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P010660/1
Title: Re-Distributed Manufacturing in Deployed Operations - Workshop
Principal Investigator: Phillips, Professor WE
Other Investigators:
Dalgarno, Professor KW
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr D Kapletia
Project Partners:
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS FT
Department: Faculty of Business and Law
Organisation: University of the West of England
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 February 2017 Ends: 31 October 2017 Value (£): 11,792
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip. Medical Imaging
Operations Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Oct 2016 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 4 October 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The EPSRC funded Re-Distributed Manufacturing in Healthcare Network (RiHN) (www.rihn.org.uk) was launched in Feb 2015 and is being delivered by a consortium between six universities (UWE, Loughborough, Nottingham, Cambridge, Newcastle & Brunel), representing disciplines from both the social sciences and engineering. Investigators from RiHN working with the Ministry of Defence's Defence Medical Services organisation propose to lead a specialist workshop to explore a new compelling area of research, exploring the potential of Re-Distributed Manufacturing (RDM) in deployed operations. This encompasses the application of new RDM-related technologies and systems (e.g. Bioprinters, Additive Layer Manufacturing) in expeditionary military and civilian emergency and humanitarian operations.

Re-Distributed Manufacture (RDM) is defined as: "Technology, systems and strategies that change the economics and organisation of manufacturing, particularly with regard to location and scale" . In healthcare, RDM involves bringing production closer to the point of clinical need or use and enhancing the capability to deliver personalised medicine. RiHN is leading an agenda to advance the impact of UK medical manufacturing research.

Whilst RDM includes the notion of a shift from centralised towards decentralised production, extant research continues to assume a degree of stable environmental conditions and fixed static location (e.g. hospitals/clinics/home). However, RDM can deliver life-saving benefits in mobile medical scenarios, where there is urgent and unforeseen demand in changing and remote locations, such as in response to natural disasters and emergencies (e.g. recent Ebola crisis), and the rapid treatment of soldiers in battlefield scenarios. This often requires a reverse supply chain perspective, starting with the requirement based on patient need. There are a variety of medical conditions that could benefit from rapid response treatments in deployed operations, these include and are not limited to blast injuries to skin and tissue, haemorrhagic shock, and bone and muscle repair.

The EPSRC funded workshop aims to: "review and identify applications for RDM in deployed operations and create an agenda for delivering R&D pathfinders that will radically transform medical treatments and patient outcomes". The workshop provides an opportunity to (a) define both medical and manufacturing requirements, and (b) take stock of UK R&D capability in this specialist area. It also provides a unique forum for learning and exchange between civilian and defence organisations. In order to authoritatively explore the potential of RDM in this emerging specialist area, the team will engage a range of experts and stakeholders, to include key decision-makers in MoD, emergency medicine practitioners, and researchers in medical engineering.

The RiHN team will use the outputs of the workshop to inform a future funding proposal, which will set out detailed justification for specific target areas for investigation, as well as research leads and partners who will implement these studies. Where relevant, this proposal will consider RDM applications (civil and defence) that will benefit from Early Supplier Involvement (ESI) and Innovate UK/Catapult involvement in the development of products and services that have the potential to transform healthcare delivery to front line services. Relevant insights will also feature in a wider RiHN white paper offering guidance to healthcare stakeholders for future RDM in healthcare R&D investment.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.uwe.ac.uk