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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Atanu Chaudhuri

Boer, Harry, Boer, Henrike & Chaudhuri, Atanu (Accepted). Digitalization – Developing Design and Implementation Theory. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Little did we know of all the changes the world would go through, when we issued the call for papers
for a special issue on Digitalization – Developing Design and Implementation Theory, back in Fall 2018.
Bad things happened. The COVID-19 pandemic has already taken nearly 2.2 million lives1
, collateral
deaths not included, and is still raging. The climate crisis seems to accelerate with enormous bush fires
in Australia, California and Siberia, a further increase of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, one of the
hottest years ever, in spite of much reduced travelling and industrial production2
.
Fortunately also many good things happened. The USA decided to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
Brexit happened, for better or for worse, but the good news is that partners managed to land an
agreement. And there are many, many examples of social innovations and human ingenuity.
In industry, pharmaceutical firms developed at “warp speed” over 50 COVID-19 vaccine candidates to
trialability3
, and just before the end of 2020, the first people were vaccinated. Worldwide, companies,
small and large, showed unprecedented agility. On April 13, 2020, Lego, the children’s toys brand
reported that they had modified six of its molding machines to produce more than 13,000 visors per
day for frontline healthcare workers. Similar plans were in place for Hungary and then Lego’s other
global plants4
. Grundfos, the pump manufacturer, started full-scale production of up to 5000 visors
per day in Bjerringbro, Denmark, on April 3, 20205
. Carlsberg restructured a large part of its production
in Fredericia, Denmark, to supply the alcohol base to former demonstration plant of Ørsted, a
renewable energy company6
, in Kalundborg, Denmark, for second-generation bioethanol production.