MDC 2012 Keynote Speakers

Sir Mike Gregory Chairman Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Institute for Manufacturing, Cambridge University

Mike Gregory is Head of the Manufacturing and Management Division of the University Engineering Department and of the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM). Mike's work continues to be closely linked with industry and government and he has published in the subject areas of manufacturing strategy, technology management, international manufacturing and manufacturing policy. He directs - with senior colleagues - the Institute's EPSRC Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre. External activities have included membership of various government and institutional committees. He served as executive director of the Cambridge MIT Institute from 2005-2008 and was Springer Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley in 2008/9. He chairs the UK Manufacturing Professors Forum and is a member of the UK Government's Stakeholder Group on Manufacturing.

Ross Walker Ross Walker, Senior UK Economist, RBS

Ross has been a senior UK economist at RBS since 2000, having joined NatWest Markets in late 1998. He is based in RBS's Markets division in London where his principal responsibilities are macroeconomic and central bank policy analysis and forecasting. RBS is a prominent UK economic forecaster, participating regularly in HM Treasury, Bank of England and private surveys. Ross is a member of the Sky TV News 'money panel' of business experts and has written for the Institute of Economics Affairs and The Daily Telegraph newspaper. In 2010 he was dubbed 'The Sage of Scotland' by The Sun newspaper! Prior to working in the City, Ross was a researcher to the President of the Board of Trade.

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Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Rt Hon Michael Fallon has been MP for Sevenoaks since 1997. He was an Education Minister in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and is now a senior Parliamentarian. In September 2012 he was appointed Privy Counsellor and Minister of State for Business and Enterprise in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). His current responsibilities cover several business sectors, including low carbon economy, low emission vehicles, electronics, small business, enterprise and access to finance, competitiveness and economic growth, deregulation and better regulation, regional and local economic development (including Grants for Business Investment), business support, Olympic legacy, export licensing, Royal Mail, general oversight of Shareholder Executive and its portfolios, Commons spokesman on Trade and Investment.

Brian Davidson Brian Davidson, Non-Executive Chairman, Crown Paints Ltd

Brian Davidson has been CEO of Crown Paints since December 2009. He joined after more than 20 years in the bus building industry, including aiding the turnaround the ailing Mayflower, and leading the management buyout at Plaxton in 2004. This presentation will concentrate on Brian's experience in turning around two UK businesses: Plaxton, a 100 year-old bus and coach manufacturer based in Scarborough and Crown Paints, a 230 year-old North West manufacturing icon.

Richard Noble Richard Noble, OBE, entrepreneur and record breaker

Against a background of today's low risk culture, Richard Noble specialises in developing high risk ventures. Obviously not all of them can be successful, but the Thrust2 programme which brought the World Land Speed Record back to Britain in 1983 and the Thrust SSC first ever supersonic land speed record programme are the best known. Richard Noble's other projects include the ARV Super2 light aircraft, the Atlantic Sprinter Blue Riband contender, Programme Funding, an original television funding company, Farnborough Aircraft, the first distributed travel air taxi aircraft and currently the Mach 1.4 Bloodhound SSC project - the latest in the long line of Land Speed Record cars now being run through over 3600 UK schools.