Tis the season!
As we come towards the end of another challenging year, the UK advanced manufacturing sector though hit hard, has maintained a level of resilience against what has seemed like a perfect storm. Indeed, despite the average person’s perceptions on the street, the sector remains of vital importance to the economy and internationally. However, the realities that already faced the industry two years ago have been brought into even sharper focus now. We have seen reasons why it is so important to invest in digital connectivity, sustainability, data analysis, and robust global supply chain management.
As progress on the take up of these technologies and processes is happening, we are starting to see broadened communities developing around advanced manufacturing that are increasingly bringing in players from distinctly different sectors such as telecoms (think of the importance of 5G for IIoT and data); energy grid supply and distribution (think of the power grid demand from EVs); forecourt, infrastructure, and construction (think hydrogen and the requirements from alternative fuels for both ground and air); cybersecurity (think vast amounts of data storage and transfer). There must be more opportunities for manufacturers to make these new types of partnerships through expanding networking opportunities.
During the pandemic, it’s been almost easy to forget that for the UK too, uniquely, there’s the additional need to forge new partnerships globally post-Brexit. Industry bodies like Make UK and others have been continuing to work hard in the promotion of manufacturing to the government as an absolute priority in current and future talks, in addition to encouraging investment and incentives in the above-mentioned technologies. It’s a potentially complex matrix of relationships and initiatives, but I’m optimistic about the great opportunities that can now lie ahead through them and the additional sense of purpose that has been distilled from the travails of the last two years.