MTA president and director of Yamazaki Mazak Marcus Burton used his keynote speech to reflect on the history of the association and how manufacturing technology will shape the future: “The overarching lesson from our history is those who have prospered are those who have understood what is happening around them, embraced the new opportunities and changed their business models,” he said. “With the opportunities of the 4th industrial revolution we can leapfrog the past and invest in the future. Businesses, the public and government, through a modern, long-term industrial strategy, must embrace these new opportunities and ensure that the UK changes its culture to one of ongoing investment.”

Burton concluded: “Digitalisation is going to dominate the future of our industry – in fact manufacturing is already being recast as a digital industry. We in this room have everything that is needed to move productivity forward.”

The dinner also saw the MTA honour some key figures within the manufacturing technologies sector by presenting them with an ‘Outstanding Contribution to UK Industry Award’. Recipients included: Sir David McMurtry, executive chairman of Renishaw; John Deer, deputy chairman of Renishaw; Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, executive dean of the AMRC Group; and Juergen Maier CBE, chief executive of Siemens UK.

MTA CEO James Selka said of the dinner and awards: “It is our great honour to be able to present the Outstanding Contribution to UK Industry Award to four people who have dedicated their lives to our sector and are real champions of UK industry.”

McMurtry, is the inventor of the original touch trigger probe. He co-founded Renishaw in 1973 along with Deer. Will Lee, Renishaw’s chief executive, who accepted Sir David’s award on his behalf, said: “At Renishaw we all feel extremely proud of Sir David’s and John’s achievements over the past 45 years. From modest beginnings in John’s house in Chepstow, they have overseen the growth of a hugely successful global company based on their founding principles of disruptive innovation, high-quality manufacturing, excellent customer support and the development of talented people. It is a great honour for them to be recognised for their contributions to UK industry during the MTA’s centenary year.”

Ridgway set up the AMRC with Boeing in 2001 and, in 2009, helped launch the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. He said: "We are changing the perceptions of modern manufacturing. But more than this, we are opening the doors of opportunity to a generation of young people who feel left behind.”

Maier was appointed chief executive of Siemens UK in 2014. Latterly he has led ‘Made Smarter’, the independent review of industrial digitalisation. Made Smarter sets out how UK manufacturing can be transformed through the adoption of industrial digital technology. He was made a CBE in the recent New Year’s Honours list.

He said: “What we all have in common is that we are passionate about UK industry and making British manufacturing a beacon for future technology and innovation. The MTA have played a leading role in shaping our fourth industrial revolution through their contribution to Made Smarter, which I believe can unlock so much potential for manufacturers up and down the country”

Selka concluded: “The members of the MTA are what makes our association so special; we are at the forefront of all technological advances; we are shaping the world we live in and helping British manufacturing thrive. We look forward to the next 100 years of being your voice and can’t wait to see where your technology takes us.”