The Manufacturer Top 100: The best of the best

This year, we celebrate five years of The Manufacturer Top 100, the annual programme that honours the individuals who help make UK manufacturing such an inspiring and resourceful sector.

It has become a cornerstone of activities that celebrate the very best among us. Grace Gilling, managing director of Hennik Research, publishers of The Manufacturer, explains how we will be marking this very special fifth anniversary.

Two Exemplars celebrating at The Manufacturer Top 100 2017 launch reception - image courtesy of The Manufacturer.
Two Exemplars celebrating at The Manufacturer Top 100 2017 launch reception – image courtesy of The Manufacturer.

We launched The Manufacturer Top 100 in 2014 after numerous studies identified a lack of role models in the sector as a key cause of the skills gap. By celebrating and publicising outstanding individuals, we wanted to encourage young people into the well-paid, richly rewarding careers that manufacturing offers.

What we didn’t quite anticipate was how The Manufacturer Top 100 would grow year by year into an elite alumnus community within the manufacturing sector.

How did this happen? It is all down to the characteristics that we seek from nominees, who are selected by our readership, or by their colleagues or customers.

We offer five categories: Inspiring Leaders, Unsung Heroes, Drivers of Cultural Change, Young Pioneers, and Investors in New Markets.

There is something for everyone there – from shop floor to top floor – but if I could identify a single characteristic, it is that successful nominees are those who have always gone the extra mile to help their teams, their companies, or their communities.

Selection is not automatic. We ask our highly esteemed judging panel, drawn from heads of institutions and leading industry figures, to take several weeks to winnow down the hundreds of nominations into a stellar collection of one hundred outstanding individuals.

We then celebrate their achievement in two ways. We create a beautiful coffee table-style publication that profiles the individuals and the 20 standout selections that we call the ‘Top 100 Exemplars’.

This book is sent to primary and second schools, government ministers, institutions and The Manufacturer subscribers, and of course the companies who were involved in the process. It is also publicised throughout the year via The Manufacturer’s digital platforms and events, and the broader media.

The Manufacturer Top 100 2017 publicationWe officially reveal the cohort and launch the publication at a special ceremony during our flagship Digital Manufacturing Week – which takes place this year in Liverpool on 13 – 16 November – where the Top 100 are invited to celebrate and be presented with a trophy.

The Top 500

This year, the Top 100 community will grow to 500, and to mark the occasion we will present The Manufacturer Top 500 Hall of Fame during our Digital Manufacturing Week in Liverpool Exhibition Centre’s atrium, where over 6,000 visitors will pass across four days.

The launch of The Manufacturer Top 100 2018 and The Manufacturer Top 500 Hall of Fame will take place on the evening of the 14 November, from 18.00 – 21.30, where the identities of this year’s winners, and the Hall of Famers, will be revealed and celebrated at a drinks reception. All previous Top 100 alumni are invited to attend.

What is Digital Manufacturing Week? 

This year Digital Manufacturing Week returns to Liverpool 13-16 November and consists of four core events held at the Exhibition Centre on the banks of The Mersey, and more than 10 additional satellite events across the city.  

More than 6,000 senior figures from the manufacturing sector in the UK and worldwide are expected to attend events including: Smart Factory Expo,Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit, and The Manufacturer MX Awards, the high-point in the national industrial calendar.