This year’s model

Parametric modelling has advanced steadily since it gained widespread acceptance in the 1990s. Ruari McCallion looks at the current state of play and new developments.

Best practice vies for insurers attention

Can best practice or Lean behaviour reduce insurance costs when insurance is a global commodity market? In theory, yes it can. In practice, like insurance, it is a subjective science but there is evidence that best practice does make a difference. Will Stirling reports.

Assessing the Strategy

The Government has launched several important strategies to support industry in the last 18 months, targeting areas where UK plc has comparative advantage and growth potential. Malcolm Wheatley asks how can manufacturers and tax-payers measure the value for money of these strategies.

Define R&D — a taxing question

What qualifies as research and development for tax purposes? The Government has taken a bit of stick this year for its handling of R&D tax credits claims, but there is little hard evidence that it tightened its rules.

Can business expect to get more clarity on this expensive but valuable tax credit process? Will Stirling asks.

Institutional excellence

The Institute for Manufacturing was established in 1998 to provide a collaborative environment for the creation and transfer of ideas, research and holistic approaches to modern industrial realities. A decade on, TM’s Edward Machin discovers an institution at the forefront of global manufacturing practices, and with a new low carbon building to boot.

Skills for growth

In November 2009, the Government released the latest National Skills Strategy which it says will provide Britain with the talents to take advantage of global opportunities in the economic recovery. Mark Young weighs up the reactions from some key industry commentators.