Mantra helps launch Global Manufacturing Festival

04 March 2013

The AMRC's Mantra lorry, a travelling showcase for advanced engineering, visited Parliament to help launch the Global Manufacturing Festival.

During the event, leaders from world industry committed their organisations to backing the Festival, to be held around Sheffield in April.

Key figures from Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Siemens and Tata Steel responded with a unanimous yes when asked if their buyers would attend the three day event.

The launch included a round table discussion at Church House to discuss developing strategies for growth in the region's manufacturing industry. Speakers included Sir Roger Bone, president of Boeing UK; Dr Hamid Mughal, executive vice-president of manufacturing, engineering and technology at Rolls-Royce; Andrew Peters, director of Siemens UK; and Mark Broxholme, managing director of speciality steels at Tata Steel.

Sir Roger highlighted Boeing's relationship with the region through their status as a founding partner of the University of Sheffield AMRC. "We have seen the AMRC grow in the last decade to a multi-million pound research centre," he said. "Such is its excellence in our view and its understanding of the interface between manufacturing research and industrial application, we use Sheffield as a benchmark globally.

"We actually bring the presidents of American universities to Sheffield to show them how it should be done. Sheffield is up there in the top strata of relationships which we cherish."

Hamid Mughal from Rolls-Royce also championed the region's manufacturing prowess. "There are fantastic facilities in Sheffield," he said. "We are looking for a competitive supply chain and Sheffield has just the right culture, environment, heritage and the right technical advantage, not just for low-level manufacturing competitiveness, but the advanced level."

Mark Broxholme of Tata Steel also highlighted the reasons for the group's regional investment. "Tata Steel is an international company and has choices on where it invests, and I am pleased to say that Sheffield and South Yorkshire is a good place to be," he said. "Actually we see no better place to be. Because of the skills base and the platform this gives us for global business, we have invested over £35 million in the last three years."

The Global Manufacturing Festival begins with the schools-focused Get up to speed event at The Blue Shed on Wednesday April 17. The AMRC then hosts a major manufacturing conference and trade show on Thursday April 18, featuring speakers from the aerospace, renewable energy, medical components and nuclear sectors. The conference is free to attend.

For more information and to book tickets, see: www.globalmanufacturingfestival.com

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