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Remaking a Difference

How can Wales contribute to ‘net zero’ carbon by 2050? Tackling climate change by reducing carbon emissions and cutting consumption are central to this week’s UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. When RemakerSpace opens this winter, it will help bridge the gap between industry and education – two sectors at the heart of solving the planet’s greatest challenge. Professor Aris Syntetos and Dr Daniel Eyers explain. 

“The world talks a lot about a global switch to a ‘circular economy’ – reusing, remaking, recycling. But without a sizeable shift in throw-away attitudes, we’re destined to only talk about it. If we’re to cut emissions, bringing our circular message to everyone through hands-on demonstration is key.  

RemakerSpace will be filled with the tools people need to reuse and remanufacture, from traditional saws and sewing machines to state-of-the-art 3D Printers. It’s all about outreach – winning hearts and remaking minds. Working with communities in Wales is our first priority – giving people access to remanufacturing equipment with support from Repair Café Wales 

We will work with students – in Welsh schools, colleges, and universities. And we will provide training and networking for Wales-based businesses and supply chains, helping them with remanufacturing and wider circular economy concepts.  

In addition to offering expertise for businesses in operationalizing remanufacturing strategies, we will enable individuals to repair small electrical items, furniture (especially wood), jewellery, clothing, and general household goods, preventing waste generation.   

RemakerSpace has been created by Cardiff University’s PARC Institute of Manufacturing, Logistics, and Inventory. Sitting inside Cardiff’s beautiful new sbarc | spark building on Cardiff Innovation Campus, RemakerSpace will operate with support from DSV, featuring equipment exclusively funded by Welsh Government.  

Positioned as the University’s ‘Home of Innovation,’ sbarc | spark is where researchers, entrepreneurs and investors will create new products, processes and ways of working.  

Remakerspace fits snugly into this mission to not only change attitudes, but highlight the benefits remanufacture and repair can bring to businesses, where return on investment on remanufacturing is up to five times higher than new production.  

We also want to encourage the design of products with repair and after-life considerations in mind, where organisations adopt new technologies such as Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing and innovative solutions for waste processing. 

We’ll keep abreast of future policy changes by continuing to work closely with Welsh and UK Government. We’ve already done this during the outbreak of Covid-19, dwhen we supported the manufacture of protective equipment with our PARC partner, DSV, with NHS and Welsh Government partners.  

And when we’re open, we’ll be able to do more. RemakerSpace will boast Reverse Engineering scanning & software, high-spec laptops, desktops, and accessories, plus VR & pupil-tracking glasses. Alongside, we’ll have more conventional ‘workshop’ equipment. And to help us get our message out, we hope to have access to high-end conferencing & presentation facilities to enable us to share our work to Wales and beyond. 

Watch this space for future updates. Our new website is almost ready and our equipment will hopefully be installed into two large rooms on the ground floor of sbarc | spark next month. We hope to formally launch next spring.  

Backed by full-time professional staff, RemakerSpace will be a global ‘first’ – a three-way partnership between academia, industry and government with a shared common goal to support the circular economy through product life cycle extension, obsolescence management and sustainable behaviour adaptation.   

Keeping a lid on a global 1.5°C temperature rise will take more than a switch to renewables, green energy and recycling. RemakerSpace is a small step in the right direction towards dematerialised supply chains – and that direction is circular.”  

For more information about working with RemakerSpace, contact Aris Syntetos - SyntetosA@cardiff.ac.uk – or Daniel Eyers – EyersDR@cardiff.ac.uk  

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