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A Powerhouse of Manufacturing

By Graeme Waddell - Posted on 7 February 2017

The next instalment in the Glasgow Powerhouse series in conjunction with PwC will focus on the Engineering, Design and Advanced Manufacturing sector in Glasgow. Graeme Waddell, Chairman, Energen Biogas and member of the Glasgow Economic Leadership (GEL) workstream will chair the event. Here he looks at the important issues facing this sector.

Scotland’s manufacturing sector delivers 52% of our exports and 54% of business expenditure in research and development. According to the Scottish Government, there are nearly 190,000 people employed in the industry.

Scotland has a proud manufacturing heritage and in a global world of political and economic uncertainty I believe the time is right for manufacturing to re-position the sector as the engine for economic growth.

We must therefore develop a proposition that embraces new digital technology particularly for our SME companies - including the supply chain infrastructure - to develop new innovative products and services. We also need visionary leadership who will inspire those same companies to integrate new technology and innovation.

Last year the Scottish Government announced a new strategy for manufacturing – A Manufacturing Future for Scotland – outlining how the government will work with industry and higher and further education institutions to stimulate innovation, improve productivity and increase investment in Scottish manufacturing, thus allowing it to compete more competitively globally.

The announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon talked of bespoke support, supported by £70 million of investment, and a new Centre of Excellence to help Scotland’s manufacturers innovate and expand.

Industry and Education now need to work together to support delivery of the plan. Strathclyde Business School and PwC have decided to focus on this area of business in the latest in their series of Glasgow Powerhouse events.

With speakers from Aggreko, MAKLab and the Engineering Academy - a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde, partner colleges and the engineering industry - the event will address these issues and opportunities, demonstrating how Glasgow can maintain its reputation for being a city of engineering excellence in an increasingly competitive global economy.

There is plenty to be discussed on February 9 and I look forward to a stimulating session addressing a sector so important to our success moving forward.

Glasgow Powerhouse is a joint programme from the University of Strathclyde Business School and PwC which examines key sectors of our city’s economy. If you’re keen to find out more about the event, please contact SBS.marketing@strath.ac.uk or register here.

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