Investment in digital manufacturing can turn the
Digital industrialisation could be worth as much as £455 billion to the
As manufacturing becomes increasingly automated, the
The report says that due to its ideal geographic location and its industrial experience and inherent skills levels, the Midlands has the potential to become the UK's manufacturing engine, leading the country's drive to world competitiveness. In recent years the region's tech ecosystem has been growing rapidly. In
The chair of the Midlands Manufacturing Resilience Commission, Dr Clive Hickman (pictured), who is also chief executive of the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre, one of the High Value Manufacturing Catapults, said, "The Midlands can become the UK's industrial engine, but only if we get appropriate investment in the manufacturing sector. By embracing emerging technologies and equipping people with the right skills, we can improve our productivity and provide prosperity not just for the Midlands, but for the
The report introduces a roadmap of concrete recommendations that can be adopted, in collaboration between local and national government, academia and the sector itself, to build manufacturing resilience in the Midlands and manufacturing in the
The report also calls for financial protection for SMEs to take on bigger challenges to move from start-up to scale through an improved growth capital programme - effectively a
Another call to action from the report is the creation of an internship programme for graduates into SMEs, to provide increased bandwidth for SME leadership, allowing senior managers to become more strategic as well as operational - working ON the business rather than just IN the business, and provide vital industrial experience for graduates when employment opportunities may be scarce.
The Commission was established to review the Midlands’ manufacturing landscape post-Covid, to contribute to the creation of a wider Midlands and
Dr Hickman said, “Through the recent crises we have seen the manufacturing sector respond to the needs of the hour, including through vital initiatives such as the Ventilator Challenge and the production of much needed PPE.We are proud of what we achieved, particularly in the face of arguably the greatest crisis this country has experienced in the last 70 years. But we believe there are lessons to be learned, not least in terms of how we, here in the
"Our vision must be to enable the Midlands to become a resilient manufacturing force once again, prepared for whatever shocks may be in store, whether those be political, environmental or technological," he added.
The initiative is supported by the Mayor of the
In addition, the Commission has been endorsed by Sir John Peace, chairman of the Midlands Engine, who said, "This report highlights the need for ongoing support and a coordinated partnership vision to ensure the future of the manufacturing sector. It references many of the key barriers to growth that the Midlands Engine is currently working on: business leadership, skills, productivity, and embracing digital and new technologies.
"But the report also highlights the opportunity for the sector in our region - the opportunity to rebrand the
Dr Clive Hickman has been Chief Executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre for 10 years. Previously he had more than 35 years experience in the automotive industry culminating in the position of head of engineering for Tata Motors in