SPONSOR – NATIONAL MANUFACTURING DEBATE
2016 marked the seventh year of the National Manufacturing Debate hosted by Cranfield University, which continues to go from strength to strength. This year, a packed auditorium of over 300 delegates from industry, academia and business gathered to discuss ‘How can UK Manufacturing Growth match the best of the G7?’
At the debate, Professor Rajkumar Roy, Director of Manufacturing at Cranfield University, revealed research by Cranfield University that demonstrated the impact of manufacturing on the UK economy as a whole was likely to be undervalued by £50billion.
Anna Soubry MP, the then Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, spoke about the importance of manufacturing to UK industry and the potential of the emergence of big data, the internet of things, new materials, pioneering flexible manufacturing processes, automation, robotics and additive manufacturing offered the opportunity to further improve performance, “the fourth industrial revolution is beginning and should be exploited,” she said.
Looking to manufacturing in the future, Hamid Mughal, global director of manufacturing at Rolls-Royce, suggested that with resource constraints, environmental issues and a growing global population, manufacturing will become as strategically important as defence. The ability to design and make for a country’s own people will become very important.
SMEs were also well represented, with Grant Jamieson, managing director of Winkworth Machinery, pointing out the large role they had play in the UK economy and urging the Government to do more to support them. Other key speakers at the 2016 National Manufacturing Debate included Terry Scuoler – CEO of EEF, Anna Leach – head of economic analysis at the CBI, and Dr Phill Cartwright – chief technology officer at the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
In what will be its eighth year the National Manufacturing Debate continues to be a key date in the manufacturing calendar in 2017.