The future of high value engineering

Posted on 4 Dec 2012

How strong is the UK’s manufacturing industry? Could it help lead the country’s recovery from recession? What needs to be done to bring it back to its old glory?

The public debate is ongoing. Meanwhile, a quiet industrial revolution is providing a clear answer. High Value Engineering (HVE) companies in the UK are launching cutting edge innovations that will help transform global manufacturing forever.

Key findings of the 36 page report include:

  • Positive market outlook: Eight out of ten businesses expect their turnover to grow over the next five years, with 27% of SMEs predicting growth of more than 30%
  • Vital strategies for growth: Investment in technology, sophisticated data capture, product diversification and customisation are key to position the UK’s HVE firms at the forefront of a new high-tech world
  • Cities of excellence: Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester will lead a new High Value Engineering revolution
  • Mastering key challenges: 74% of businesses worry that skill shortages will impair future growth and competitiveness. A contract between industry and universities for new apprenticeship schemes is needed to defuse the twin time bombs of a widening skills gap and a depleted supply chain
  • Addressing the R&D dilemma: 98% of the survey respondents agree that research and development is crucial to UK growth, but only 10% plan to increase their R&D spend in the short term
  • Reality check: Over three quarters (78%) describe their business as equipped to face the challenges of 2025 yet 88% of respondents are not planning to invest in key growth strategies such as improving their supply chain or investing in current staff.

To read the full report, please visit the RBS website:

Groundbreaking inventions such as nanotechnology, 3D printing, smart materials, structural batteries and a new generation of composites have the potential to fundamentally change world economies. The positive news: the UK could once again be one of the top workshops, globally, of a brave new high-tech world.

UK HVE companies have the potential to position themselves as key players in a global manufacturing market of game-changing technologies that will be worth €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion, £805.8bn) by 2015.

A new research report from The Royal Bank of Scotland, based on research conducted with UK manufacturing leaders, provides an intriguing insight into a manufacturing segment that has still to reach its full potential. It also presents a series of recommendations that could provide a blueprint for success for these leading-edge engineering companies.