Current experience within the area of EPSRC Systems Integration has resulted in project proposals that are, either too detailed and focussed or so wide they are unachievable. The different ways of working within academia and industry make it difficult to deploy the results of such research within industry. Business demands are constantly moving and practitioners have difficulty defining the requirements. Researchers, on the other hand, do not have experience of this changing environment and consequently have limited understanding of the problems to be solved.
In the diagram, this gap is indicated by the gap between DTI and EPSRC boxes or industry and academia. Also on this diagram are shown the various specialists that are involved from the innovation to the exploitation of a product development against a typical timeframe.
The diagram also acknowledges the role of consultants as independent intermediaries between industry and suppliers . These consultants come in a variety of forms - from the large companies such as PriceWaterhouse to Business Links for small companies.
Bridging the gaps over the large timeframes with multiple players is the scenario in which the workshop was set.
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