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Aug 09. 2023

International Research Collaborations at the Osmania Centre for Product Design

International collaboration forms an important part of our academic design research here at PDR. Professor Dominic Eggbeer, Dr Katie Beverley and Emily Parker-Bilbie have recently returned from India where they led a workshop that explored opportunities to collaborate on custom medical design at Osmania University in Hyderabad. This was hosted by Prof. Sriram Venkatesh, Director and Principal at Centre for Product Design, Development and Additive Manufacturing, together with Joint Director, Prof. L. Siva Rama Krishna.

So, what did they set out to achieve?

Understanding the collaborators

This first workshop intended to develop collaborations between researchers, industry partners, and community members in the United Kingdom and India who are committed to improving the use of design methods in healthcare. The emphasis was on research and education in the field of custom medical devices made with advanced design and additive manufacturing (3D printing) techniques.

Dominic elaborates on the workshop's original goals, mentioning, "We wanted to create a shared vision and a strategy for long-term collaboration on research and training.” The workshop delved into the backgrounds of the participants, exploring their motivations for collaboration, and helping to develop a deep understanding of the expertise at PDR and Osmania University. This helped the team to focus on what an ideal future should be.


Katie adds that “our impact on people and the planet, and ensuring our work aligns to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is a key focus of our international work.” Design and additive manufacturing in healthcare has evolved at a rapid pace and it is easy to lose sight of why technologies are implemented. PDR designed and ran activities to evaluate how the current skillsets of the team and their vision for future collaborations were aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Wide range of participants

Workshop participants included partners from the wider healthcare, technology and innovation ecosystem. The team were joined by the CEO of the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM). Dominic said, “NCAM is one of India's centres established to develop strategic direction for the country in additive manufacturing research, spin-out companies, and related education. Their involvement indicates how our international collaboration intends to support policies and practice that improve industry innovation and infrastructure”. We were also joined by surgeons, who were vital to providing a good health and well-being focus for the group.

Workshop tools were based on user-centred and service design methods. This enabled people from various backgrounds and stages of their careers to participate. The team also had the opportunity to meet Prof. D Ravinder, Vice Chancellor of Osmania University. This reaffirmed a commitment to continuing collaboration and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Cardiff Metropolitan University and Osmania University.

Next steps

PDR’s next collaboration stage will address what we agreed as an ‘ideal future’. This means creating system-wide change that ensures everybody who would benefit from a custom medical device can. We have clear evidence supporting social and environmental sustainability and we continue to collaborate on research with partners across India, the UK and globally.

You can read more about PDR's work with Surgical and Prosthetic Design here