The British Council’s Researcher Links programme provides early career researchers with the opportunity to form international connections and this will see Dr Unanoğlu visiting Westminster Business School for a 14-week period from June 2017.
Highlighting the importance of international collaboration in research, Dr Evans said: “The sharing of ideas and findings internationally provides benefits well beyond the significance of the research itself – such projects are vital for encouraging the dissemination of industrial best practices and for contributing to future economic growth. By engaging with scholars on a global basis, we are able to identify the specific challenges and opportunities present in different regions of the world. This British Council funding provides the potential for Dr Unanoğlu and myself to establish new links and networks with other academics working in the field of Industry 4.0.”
The global manufacturing sector is experiencing accelerated transformation through the growth of digital technologies, including intelligent robotics, additive manufacturing, the Internet of Things and Big Data. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) promises more affordable manufacturing in higher wage economies with greater levels of autonomous production. A challenge for manufacturers, however, lies in identifying how to adapt current processes and how to provide employees with the skillsets necessary to compete effectively and not be overtaken by technological advancements.
The research project seeks to identify and categorise the skillsets required by workers to adapt successfully to Industry 4.0 manufacturing environments. During the visit, Dr Unanoğlu will work alongside Richard in analysing qualitative data collected during Q1 2017 in both the UK and Turkey.
A taxonomy will be created to categorise required skills with a framework also being developed to enable employees to self-evaluate their skillsets. The resulting framework will be shared with corporate management in British and Turkish manufacturing organisations and will contribute directly to growth in future industrial output and successful corporate transition.
Research at the University of Westminster addresses truly global themes, contributing to the solution of real-world problems and enhancing and enriching economic, health, social and cultural life. Every faculty of the University is actively involved in collaborations with both academic institutions and businesses overseas.