Inspiring account of UK innovation to be sent to schools

EEF has launched a new report highlighting the past, present and future of British inventiveness which it will send schools across the nation.

The manufacturing trade body hopes the report, Pioneering Great British Products, will help inspire more young people to view manufacturing and engineering as sectors which offer dynamic and challenging careers.

The report launch was one of the first events to mark the beginning of manufacturing, engineering and technology (MET) week at the International Festival of Business – the largest concentration of business and industry related events that the UK has seen since 1951 and the Festival of Britain.

The report includes three section which look at historical and current British innovation in, emphasizing both Britain’s legacy in world-changing inventiveness, but also that this spark is alive and well today.

The third section offers some brief careers advice for young people, with testimonials from current apprentices and graduate engineers, and points them to sources for more information.

To magnify the ability of the report to change perceptions about industry EEF is due to send it to schools across the UK.

“This will be huge,” Terry Scuoler told TM after the launch event before also explaining that the report will be a key element in the trade association’s pre-election Make it Britain Campaign.

“This campaign has a microsite and the brand will badge pretty much everything we do from now until the general election, including our fringe events at party conferences,” he said.

Pioneering Great British Products already has strong government buy-in and support however. Business Secretary Vince Cable attended the launch event at the Life Science University Technical College in Liverpool and delivered the report foreword.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Cable said: “We have a proud history as inventors and these ground-breaking ideas demonstrate that British inventiveness has a bright future.

“The ability to innovate is one of the reasons why manufacturing continues the renaissance we’re currently seeing. Through our industrial strategy, the Government is giving businesses and manufacturers the confidence to invest – securing high skilled jobs and a stronger economy.”

Some of the current innovations highlighted in EEF’s report include:

  • The Airlander, a hybrid airship and he world’s largest aircraft
  • The Raspberry Pi, a bare-bones computer designed to teach programming skills
  • The SABRE engine which can propel a plane at five times the speed of sound
  • And the i-limb, a bionic prosthetic

Find out more about the report.