Manufacturing ‘do tank’ launched at British summit

The first British Industrial Entrepreneurship Summit (BIES) brought together global brands, young engineers, SME manufacturers, leading spokespeople and academics in an effort to understand how best to boost the nation’s manufacturing and engineering.

Held on November 19 in London and sponsored by Rockwell Automation, delegates heard from EEF chief economist, Lee Hopley, who stated that “the best of UK manufacturing is in the future, not the past”, and IMechE’s head of engineering in Society, Dr Helen Meese.

With industry research from organisers, Cadence Innovation Marketing, revealing that not enough students saw the value of STEM in later life, along with changed attitudes to women in engineering, Meese presented alongside a young female entrepreneur who invented a new product at school and has taken it on to build a successful business.

Rockwell Automation’s European market development manager, Mark Daniels addressed the interests of SME manufacturers by demonstrating the importance of exploiting the industrial ‘Internet of Things’ in process and information systems.

Paul Cornwell of Brighter Energy Solutions applauded UKTI’s support for growing manufacturers and cited a recent export win directly attributable to the government support agency’s services.

Director of Cadence Innovation Marketing, Dan Doherty explained that there would be several outcomes from the summit including a white paper and video of the proceedings, but there would not be a ‘think tank’, there would be a ‘do tank’.

The notion was reportedly met with almost universal approval and several willing participants, and it is thought that the group will meet to set specific objectives and engage widely across the manufacturing spectrum from education through industry to trade bodies, the finance and regulatory sectors.

The event was held during Global Entrepreneurship Week to highlight Britain’s manufacturing’s heritage “built on brave risk-taking and pioneering industrialists.”