Participant Information Leaflet

Study Title: Industry 4 Readiness
Investigator(s): Professor Janet Godsell, Associate Professor Joshua Ignatius, Assistant Professor Donato Masi


You are invited to take part in a study. Before you decide, you need to understand why the study is being done and what it would involve for you. Please take the time to read the following information carefully. Talk to others about the study if you wish.

(Part 1 tells you the purpose of the study and what will happen to you if you take part. Part 2 gives you more detailed information about the conduct of the study)

Please ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

Part 1

What is the study about?

The term “Industry 4” originates from the high-technology strategy of the German government. It sought to redefine the role of manufacturing after the global economic crisis. It suggests that we are on the cusp of the 4th Industrial Revolution, a so-called cyber-physical age where materials and machines are interconnected using the Internet of Things. The aim of this project is to identify and compare the readiness of companies to handle the spread of Industry 4 tools and techniques.

Do I have to take part?

It is entirely up to you to decide. We will describe the study and go through this information sheet, which we will give you to keep. If you choose to participate, returning a completed questionnaire/survey gives your consent for the information that you have supplied to be used in this study. You will be free to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason and this will not affect you or your circumstances in any way.

What will happen to me if I take part?

You are requested to interact with the website we have developed. Here we describe the steps in detail. You need to register by choosing an email address and password, and submitting some basic demographic information. You will be asked to tick a checkbox to give your consent to us processing your data. From that point you enter the survey and submit your numerical answers to 27 questions grouped into six dimensions, answering both your current status for each question and your desired status. After you submit your data you will immediately be able to see how you fare against other companies, in total, in your industry or in your geography. If you wish to return to the website at a later date to view the data again you will be required to enter your login details.

What are the possible disadvantages, side effects, risks, and/or discomforts of taking part in this study?

There are no disadvantages, discomforts or side effects of taking part in this study.

What are the possible benefits of taking part in this study?

By participating in this study you will increase your understanding of how your company’s Industry 4 readiness compares to others in your industry, your geography, or as a whole. You will also be contributing to the database by which others will compare themselves. As the database grows, the assessment of your own readiness will be refined.

Expenses and payments

No payments will be made for participants and no expenses will be covered.

What will happen when the study ends?

The data collected through the website will be stored in a database and will be analysed by the research team. It will be kept for ten years as per University of Warwick regulations.

Will my taking part be kept confidential?

Yes. We will follow strict ethical and legal practice and all information about you will be handled in confidence. Further details are included in Part 2.

What if there is a problem?

Any complaint about the way you have been dealt with during the study or any possible harm that you might suffer will be addressed. Detailed information is given in Part 2.

This concludes Part 1.
If the information in Part 1 has interested you and you are considering participation, please read the additional information in Part 2 before making any decision.

Part 2

Who is organising and funding the study?

This study is led by Professor Janet Godsell who is the head of the Supply Chain Group at Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick. It is being funded through the High Value Manufacturing Catapult by EPSRC.

What will happen if I don’t want to carry on being part of the study?

Participation in this study is entirely voluntary. Refusal to participate will not affect you in any way. If you decide to take part in the study, you will need to tick a box on the website indicating your consent. If you agree to participate, you may nevertheless withdraw from the study at any time by closing your internet browser. If, after registering, you decide that you do not want your inputs to be included in our dataset you should contact us directly (via [email protected]). We will proceed to remove from our dataset all your details, answers and any visual or textual input that you have provided.

What if there is a problem?

This study is covered by the University of Warwick’s insurance and indemnity cover. If you have an issue, please contact the Chief Investigator of the study: [email protected].

Who should I contact if I wish to make a complaint?

Any complaint about the way you have been dealt with during the study or any possible harm you might have suffered will be addressed. Please address your complaint to the person below, who is a senior University of Warwick official entirely independent of this study:

Director of Delivery Assurance
Registrar’s Office
University House
University of Warwick
[email protected]
02476 574774

Will my taking part be kept confidential?

The information you provide through the website will be anonymized and kept confidential.

All data will be securely stored on the hard drive of a computer within Warwick Manufacturing Group. We will not share the raw data with anyone other than other researchers for the purpose of academic research. Anonymised data will be shared with other companies through the website.

What will happen to the results of the study?

The results will be used for academic research and the publication of journal papers. It will also be used in anonymised form within averages for other companies to see how they compare to the average for the total company population, for those in a particular geography or those in a particular industry.

Who has reviewed the study?

This study has been reviewed and given favourable opinion by the University of Warwick’s Biomedical and Scientific Research Ethics Committee (BSREC): REGO-2018-2215

What if I want more information about the study?

If you have any questions about any aspect of the study, or your participation in it, not answered by this participant information leaflet, please contact: [email protected]

Thank you for taking the time to read this participant information leaflet.