Festival will open the door to small firms

GMF 2013 Nick Clegg with Martin McKervey looking on
GMF 2013 Nick Clegg with Martin McKervey looking on
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Leading figures from Jaguar Land Rover and Airbus will be among the keynote speakers at this year’s Global Manufacturing Festival.

The Festival, organised by Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and the Cutlers’ Company, will be hosted by Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Festival for the second year running.

It will open on Tuesday June 24 with a manufacturers’ dinner, attended by up to 750 guests.

The dinner will be followed by a conference and all-day exhibition on Wednesday June 25.

Speakers will include Jaguar Land Rover executive director Mike Wright, and Airbus head of research and technology Colin Sirett, a representative of high speed rail link HS2 and Lukas Jiranek, technical manager at Beckett MIM.

Mr Wright will talk about his appointment by the Labour Party as a ‘supply chain investigator’ for the UK automotive industry.

The role includes making a full review of the capability of UK manufacturers to supply big companies like car and aircraft makers, assessing barriers such as productivity and access to finance.

Mr Sirett will outline the work Airbus has been doing on reducing the weight of its aircraft and how it works within the Aerospace Growth Partnership to grow UK aerospace manufacturing capability and assess the capability of suppliers.

Mr Sirett says he will be telling SMEs about the future direction of Airbus’s technology and operational activities.

“I will outline how future demand is directing Airbus product development, what mechanisms are available to support the while industry in the development of capabilities and how SMEs can best present their capabilities to gain a future position on developing aircraft products,” said Mr Sirett.

HS2’s spokesman is also expected to discuss the opportunities for SMEs to win business from the £43 billion programme to build a new high speed rail network from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds.

Lukas Jiranek will talk about cutting edge developments at Sheffield firm William Beckett which will see technology originally created for moulding plastic used to make metal components with the help of expertise from the AMRC and Government funding through the Regional Growth Fund.

Sponsors of this year’s Global Manufacturing Festival will include the manufacturers organisation, the EEF, Elevation Recruitment, accountants Grant Thornton, lawyers Nabarro, NatWest, Sheffield City Region Inward Investment, Siemens and Sheffield University.

EEF chief executive, Terry Scuoler, said: “Manufacturing is integral to the UK’s long term economic success and we’re backing this important festival as it provides an unparalleled opportunity for SMEs to access the supply chains of global companies and understand some of the key issues and trends for manufacturers globally.”