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Symposium Research Themes

The Symposium will address the following areas, with the first day having an industrial focus and day two exploring the latest research in the following themes:

Supply chain transformation enabled by advanced technologies

This track provides insights on how leading firms are adopting digital technologies and a digital attitude to supporting supply chain transformation. We explore how Big Data, Industrial Internet of Things and cloud computing will combine with alternative production processes such as continuous, additive and flexible automation as well as the use of driverless vehicles and drones. 

Digital supply chain design, analysis and operation

The emergence of digital technologies is driving innovations, in terms of ‘products’ and ‘services’ and new supply chain models. This requires greater visibility, alignment and integration across an increasingly complex network of multiple partners, to deliver better ‘service outcomes’ and ‘customer experience’. In this track we examine the implications of digitalisation on the design of future service supply networks. 

Sustainability, circular economy and industrial ecosystems

Re-using, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products opens up opportunities for traditional ‘waste’ to become a ‘resource’. In response, how should firms best reconfigure their international manufacturing and supply networks from a triple bottom line perspective? 

Collaborative supply chain models, crowdsourcing and the sharing economy

The emergence of major business-to-business players in the sharing economy is enabling businesses to share access to everything from collaborative capabilities to resources in the supply chain. We explore how sharing resources streamlines companies, enabling them to operate faster, and react quickly to market changes in a more efficient and effective manner.

Risk and resilience of global supply networks

Many complex global supply chains lack transparency. Companies do not know where the risks lie, or how to manage and mitigate them. How can we achieve complete visibility across all data at multiple tiers of the supply chain with the help of the right technologies and information systems? 

Digitally-enabled consumer-centric supply chains

We examine how the conceptualisation of digital supply chains is being used to inform new requirements for digital infrastructures and standards and the potential for connecting App & Device-aware consumers with their product manufacturing supply chains, including the latest developments in last-mile logistics. 

Global manufacturing and emerging countries: repositioning of MNCs

What are the impacts of emerging countries and their emerging MNCs on the global economy and the configuration of manufacturing value chain activities worldwide? We will explore the latest results emerging from cross-sector studies across the BRICS and other emerging economies, including a special track on Global Manufacturing and China (GMC'18). 

Reshoring and Distributed Manufacturing: new paradigms

Whilst Reshoring and Distributed Manufacturing are capturing the interest of companies and researchers alike, it remains unclear how these trends will impact or even replace traditional manufacturing models. We explore the enabling characteristics, challenges and opportunities.  

Smart cities, urbanisation and eCommerce

Continued urbanisation poses significant environmental, social and economic challenges to delivering sustainable business growth. Suppliers will be closer to points of consumption and with smart city technology, we explore opportunities to leverage advances in eCommerce and configure production and material processes to operate flexibly and efficiently in a high volume and high velocity data environment.


2019 Symposium Dates

The 23rd Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium will be held on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 September 2019.

Register your interest for the 2019 Symposium here.


Papers presented at the 2018 Symposium (where available) are here.