Sarah Jardine has been appointed as the new chair to lead Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) Board.
Mrs Jardine has been an active member of the SMAS board for almost three years and is a passionate supporter of manufacturing in Scotland.
Currently director of manufacturing for Optos Plc in Dunfermline, Mrs Jardine has led the Optos facility through award-winning excellence programmes and regularly receives visits from businesses from across the UK to experience the high performance environment that she has created at Optos.
Adrian Gillespie, managing director of Company Growth, Innovation and Infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise, commented: “Sarah’s appointment is great news for SMAS. I’m sure she’ll continue to be an outstanding advocate for excellence in manufacturing and bring her valuable industry experience to implementing our manufacturing action plan to be launched later this year.
“Manufacturing plays a key role in growing Scotland’s economy, helping to increase Scotland’s levels of business innovation and international trade by delivering 60% of all Scotland’s exports and generating 59% of business expenditure on R&D. We’re committed to helping Scottish manufacturers grow their global competitiveness even further.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “I’m delighted that Sarah has been appointed to chair the SMAS advisory board. Sarah brings a wealth of experience and tremendous passion for manufacturing and I welcome the vision and energy she has for this critical businesses activity. Our Government Economic Strategy recognises that growing manufacturing will lead to increased exports, investment in research and development and more jobs that are typically highly skilled and well paid.”
Mrs Jardine commented: “I’m delighted to be appointed as the chair of the SMAS Board. I fully believe manufacturing is one of the most dynamic business areas to be in right now.
“Between 2006 and 2014, SMAS delivered over 1,050 business improvement projects contributing over £135 million of value added benefits to Scotland’s economy. I am delighted to build on this great body of work and look to continue to increase the impact of SMAS activity.”
Mrs Jardine’s appointment comes in the same year that SMAS celebrates 10 years of providing support to Scottish manufacturers.