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Introducing the Up-Skill Project

Fri, 16 December, 2022

TWI is pleased to start working on a new project funded by the European Union's Horizon Europe programme to examine what happens when new, ‘intelligent’ production technologies are introduced into organisations.

Specifically, the project looks into how technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robots change the working practices, the skills people use at work, and how workers respond to and interpret the practices. The research will also map wider changes that may occur by using ethnographic studies which consider the working methodologies, social interactions, and the routes to understanding and obtaining the technologies to be implemented.

The consortium has invited several manufacturing organisations from across Europe to take part in this project. All of them are using intelligent technologies of various kinds and for different purposes. Comparing the effects of these new technologies on work, skills and organisations will allow investigations to derive the best use cases to support workers and managers and likely future skills. Ethnography will map the strategies and management approaches in order for other companies to follow similar processes.

Researchers from five major European institutions - Malardalen University (Sweden), Anglia Ruskin University (UK), Lancaster University (UK), the University of Milan (Italy) and TWI - will work together with a number of manufacturing organisations on case studies to gain insights into:

  1. The skills, knowledge and practices adopted and developed by workers as they adapt to technology changes
  2. The history of the development of existing skills, knowledge and practices
  3. Organisational adaption
  4. Emerging management practices implicated in managing machine-human value augmentation
  5. The implications for and consequences of adopting the strategies
  6. Implications for training future workers, existing workers and existing and future managers
  7. Assessment of the technologies instigated by the project

TWI’s long and unique history in industrial manufacturing and the latest advanced materials and nanotechnologies will allow experts to explore the required balance between traditional manufacturing and current technologies to establish the ‘sweet-spot’ between digital and physical engineering.

The Up-Skill partners welcome any enquiry related to the research into the relationship between automation, skilled work and organisational systems from the general public, media, industry (particularly TWI Industrial Members), academia and policymakers.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the project please visit the Up-Skill website. To make an enquiry as to how Up-Skill can bring benefit to your work and research, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team HERE.


This work was funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee 101070666

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