The Food, Energy and Water Local Nexus Network (LNN) for Re-Distributed Manufacturing (RDM)

Local nexuses refers to the connection between more localised food systems and decentralised energy and water supply.

The LNN is one of the six 24-month scoping research projects on Re-Distributed Manufacturing (RDM) funded by the EPSRC and the ESRC which started in early 2015.

The LNN focuses on the development of local nexuses of food manufacturing with energy and water supply. These connections may provide opportunities for modifying resource utilisation, production, and consumption to meet the services required within a local context. They may also contribute to the shared prosperity between business and community and between human society and natural ecosystems. This represents a complex and significant transition, which requires “smart” engineering (smaller scale technologies, integrated processes), and driving forces from businesses, communities and policy makers, to turn the potential of local nexuses into an economic and social reality.


The Local Nexus Network has three aims:

1) Establish the state-of-the-art knowledge base of local production of food, energy and water;

2) Generate initial insights to guide researchers, businesses, policy makers and communities who are enthusiastic about exploring the potential of local nexuses,

3) Develop an evidence-based agenda for future research.


The LNN is a multidisciplinary academic team involving six UK universities and interacting with representative stakeholders.

The network is studying the local nexuses along three research themes: system integration (engineering), business and policy and society. It is supported by two case study locales representing respectively situations of “new development”, (Northstowe, Cambridgeshire, where opportunities exist to introduce a new food, energy and water system), and “retrofitting” (Oxford, where the existing system needs to be changed in order to benefit from the concept of local nexuses).

These case study locales are providing a common background for different research themes to interact and integrate. They are also serving a range of purposes from collection of empirical data to stakeholder engagement. The total space of 3 sectors, 3 research themes and 2 types of locales are being explored by a set of carefully designed feasibility projects and events.

The work is being organised through six inter-related feasibility projects:

Overview of the Local Nexus Network
Overview of the Local Nexus Network approach.