Researchers from Loughborough University, Durham University, University of Derby and Teesside University are working on a project titled “Community Co-created Distributed Manufacturing Platform”.  This project aims to examine what communities would like access to, in terms of digital skills and manufacturing within their community. The team wish to engage with a range of stakeholders and interested parties to understand the needs of communities, for example, councils, businesses, enterprise partnerships, educators, young people, disadvantaged groups, differently abled groups etc. The longer-term aim would be to create a network of digitally enabled community-based hubs, where community needs for products, training, skills, and job opportunities were met locally.  The team is looking to talk to interested manufacturers in the region and bring them together in workshops to be conducted between November, 2023 and March 2024.  Interested manufacturers may reach out to Prof. Atanu Chaudhuri at

As part of the above EMN in collaboration with Durham University Business  Teesside University School and JAG Design are looking to engage with like-minded manufacturing companies across the Northeast. The project is to review and identify the barriers our sector face daily. Although the project has five areas in which research is being carried out, two of the research areas will impact members of the Engineering Manufacturing Network.

Understand the challenges faced by local manufacturers in upskilling their employees while embracing digital transformation and in attracting a future workforce to manufacturing.

Assess the potential of a digital platform in changing the community’s perception towards manufacturing, improving skills, reducing the digital divide and improving youth engagement in manufacturing.

We propose to bring a group of like-minded manufacturers together from across the Northeast and discuss issues around the two topics. The first event will be hosted  at Parmley Graham, Gateshead |Site 23rd November .At the event, we can openly discuss the challenges faced by manufacturers and give examples of digital applications that have improved productivity and throughput. Interested parties will be informed of the date and time in November once confirmed.

This project will enable the companies involved to contribute to the direction of government investment for manufacturing in the next decade. We will also examine what skills our workforce will need as we embrace technology across the shop floor and beyond.

If you would like to be involved and set out the plan for manufacturing for the next decade, please get in touch with at the EMN and inform her of your interest or register via the eventbrite link below.

Parmely Graham Tour and Discussion