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Global manufacturing leaders join together to debate key industry issues

posted 28 Feb 2011, 02:19 by RiDO Rotherham
Global leaders from manufacturing and engineering will gather in the Sheffield region next month to address how the industry can support Prime Minister, David Cameron in his mission to ‘rebalance the economy’.

As the UK manufacturing sector continues to grow at pace, there is increasing pressure from government on industry figureheads to bolster the economic recovery.

The Manufacturing Convention, hosted as part of the Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield, in association with the Financial Times, The Manufacturer and EEF, will bring together senior leaders from Boeing, Siemens UK, Tata Steel and Westinghouse to discuss how manufacturing will contribute to the UK economy.

Based in the heartland of British manufacturing on March 15, The Manufacturing Convention will address the key issues relating to the nuclear sector, emerging markets, the UK skills strategy for manufacturing and the key growth area of advanced manufacturing.

Speakers at the event include some of the most influential companies in the world including Sir Roger Bone, President of Boeing; Mike Tynan, Vice-President of Westinghouse and Juergen Maier, Managing Director of Siemens UK Industry Sector.

They will join Rt Hon Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who will attend the Global Manufacturing Festival to inspire the next generation of engineering talent and bridge the gap between innovation and commercial success, bringing education and businesses closer together.

Juergen Maier, Managing Director of Siemens Industry UK said: “Manufacturing has made a magnificent turn-around to drive the UK’s broader economic recovery in 2011. 

“As the economy slows, manufacturers now need to hold their nerve and stay confident by boosting investment in skills, plant and technology and the coalition government can do more to support the whole image and profile of manufacturing.  

“As a business with 250 employees in Sheffield and 16,000 across the UK, I am pleased to be part of the Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield, an event that will face these hot topics head on.”

Sir Roger Bone, President of Boeing, said: “Government has identified manufacturing as one of the key growth areas for the UK economy.

“The Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield is an opportunity to celebrate the successes of British manufacturing and the Convention will allow leaders to debate the issues that are key to the future of the Industry. I am extremely proud to represent Boeing during the Festival and look forward to opening the Convention.”

Mike Tynan, Vice-President of Westinghouse, said: “The Sheffield region is the heartland of manufacturing and engineering in the UK with a globally recognised heritage for innovation and quality. 

“As the government demands even more growth from the manufacturing sector, it is crucial that we look at future-proofing the industry, looking at emerging markets as well as established ones, and focusing on low-carbon sources of energy and the next-generation of manufacturers.  

“For our part, we are already proud to have Sheffield Forgemasters International as a key supplier to Westinghouse for our reactor projects in China and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationships with manufacturers in the region in future.

“It’s great to see events such as the Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield bring issues around the sector into sharp focus.” 

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber and Chairman of the Yorkshire and Humber Manufacturing Task Group, will be the Master of Ceremonies. Wright commented: “Sheffield City Region continues to be strong in manufacturing because we are good at it. We have to be prepared to invest in it and because of that we are important to the future of this country. 

“Manufacturing is one of the sectors which can generate wealth from abroad but it can also reduce imports. Both of these are necessary to balance the UK budget. 

“The Global Manufacturing Festival will be an opportunity to showcase the knowledge, technology and expertise which is so rich in Sheffield City Region. I am delighted to chair the convention and bring business leaders together to discuss best practice for the future development of the industry. 

“We have some great businesses in this region – ones that you would have no hesitation in describing as world class. The problem is that we don’t have enough and that is the challenge in front of us. 

“Our job as leaders is to look forward and develop those future products for the future markets and drive the growth in our businesses by becoming the best.”

Other speakers include Keith Parker, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association; Rod Smith, Deputy President of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers; Mark Broxholme, General Manager at Tata Steel Speciality; Nick Hussey, Chairman of The Manufacturer; Terry Watts, Chief Executive of Proskills; Klaus Bonde Ørskov, Project Manager of the Danish Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (DAMRC); and Denzil Lawrence of The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing