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Industrial Strategy discussed at National Manufacturing Debate

Launched in 2010, the annual event is hosted and organised by Cranfield University and serves as an independent forum for supporters of UK-based manufacturing.

Delegates included manufacturers; engineers and scientists; academics; national and local government representatives; finance providers; trade bodies; membership organisations and educational providers.

There were presentations from business leaders across industry, such as MTC CEO Dr Clive Hickman on the role of manufacturing in growing the UK economy; Mandy Ridyard of Produmax speaking about how people development should be considered just as important as digitisation and automation; and Anna Keeling from GKN Aerospace considering the UK’s growth prospects from an international perspective, in areas such as productivity, competitiveness and Brexit.

Cranfield University also used the event as a platform to release a white paper on ‘Industrial Strategy & UK Manufacturing’, which sets out a number of challenges that the manufacturing sector now faces. For example, the paper notes that UK productivity has declined by 9% in the last ten years, at a time when its competitors have increased productivity.

The IET was a supporter once again and filmed several interviews with speakers and delegates. These included Hickman and Ridyard, along with David Wright from Coventry University and the IET’s Design and Production Sector Executive Committee, Rosa Wilkinson of the High-Value Manufacturing Catapult, David Fagan from the EEF, Cranfield University’s Director of Manufacturing and Chair of the event Prof Rajkumar Roy and James Selka from the MTA.

The tenth-anniversary event will take place on 22 May 2019 at the Cranfield Campus.