National Manufacturing Debate 2019

Supply Chains in 21st Century Manufacturing: Developing Sustainable Supply Chains for UK Manufacturing Growth

Download the 2019 report

Debate topics:

  • Are UK manufacturing supply chains ready and flexible enough to ensure growth in turbulent times?
  • How can UK manufacturing create an 'ecosystem of success' for its supply chains?


Rosa Wilkinson
Director of Communications, High Value Manufacturing Catapult 
Dick Elsy CBE
CEO, High Value Manufacturing Catapult
Andrew Schofield
Manufacturing & Materials Strategy and Technology Director, BAE Systems
Professor Richard Wilding OBE
Professor of Supply Chain Strategy, Cranfield University
John Patsavellas Senior Lecturer in Manufacturing Management, Cranfield University
Professor Janet Godsell
Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy, WMG University of Warwick
Professor Juergen Maier
Chief Executive, Siemens Plc
Terry Scuoler CBE
Chairman, Institute of Export and International Trade
Dr Hannah Edmonds Technical Specialist - Digital Engineering, The Manufacturing Technology Centre
Halil Bedevi UK Head of Aerospace, Defence and Advanced Manufacturing,
Santander Corporate and Commercial
Mike Wilson Managing Director, Kuka UK and Ireland 
Lord Alex Broers Non-executive Director, FlexEnable 
Timothy Curtis Senior Lecturer, Social Innovation, University of Northampton 
Nicolas Ferrar  Patent Attorney and Director, Adamson Jones

National Manufacturing Debate 2018

Will the Published Industrial Strategy Help Rebuild Manufacturing?

Download the 2018 white paper

Debate topics:

  • Factors affecting the UK manufacturing growth
  • UK industrial strategy will support manufacturing growth
2018 speakers, presentations & interviews
Anna Keeling
Senior Vice President Business Transformation, GKN Aerospace
Presentation PDF
Andrew Schofield
Head of Manufacturing & Materials Engineering, BAE Systems
Atul Kariya
Head of Manufacturing & Engineering, Partner, MHA
Presentation PDF
Dr Clive Hickman
Presentation PDF
Mandy Ridyard
Financial Director, Produmax
Presentation PDF
Richard Harrington MP
Minister for Business and Industry
Presentation video
Steve May-Russell Managing Director of Smallfry and Chairman of BIDA
Andrea Rodney Director of Hone-All Ltd

National Manufacturing Debate 2016

Accelerating UK Manufacturing Growth

Download the full report

Download the 2016 white paper

Watch the introduction to the National Manufacturing Debate 2016

2016 speakers, presentations & interviews
Anna Soubry MP
Minister for Small Business, Industry
and Enterprise
Presentation video

Hamid Mughal
Global Director of Manufacturing, Rolls
Terry Scuoler
CEO, EEF Interview video
Anna Leach
Head of Economic Analysis, CBI Interview video
Phill Cartwright
Chief Technology Officer, HVM Catapult Interview video
Presentation video
Presentation PDF
John Reid
General Manager, Michelin Tyres, Dundee
& Director of Michelin Tyre PLC
Interview video
Presentation video
Presentation PDF
Grant Jamieson
Managing Director, Winworth Machinery Interview video
Presentation video
Brian Holliday
Managing Director, Siemens Digital
Interview video 
Presentation video
Presentation PDF

National Manufacturing Debate 2015

UK Reshoring Capability

Download the full report

Download the 2015 white paper

This year the National Survey was an analysis of UK reshoring capability, supervised by Dr Patrick McLaughlin, and was delivered by a team of Cranfield Manufacturing students. 

The debate was chaired by Lord Alec Broers and the afternoon debate was presented by Nick Hussey (MD, The Manufacturer).

Keynote presentations (chaired by Lord Alec Broers):

  • Lord Alec Broers
  • Professor Tom Stephenson, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Cranfield University
  • John Cridland, Director General, CBI
  • Tomas Jaskelevicius, Business Development Director, Arginta Group
  • Ian Pearce, MD, Brinsea Products Ltd
  • Paul Sloman, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP - 'Does the UK has the capability to sustain reshoring?'
  • Dick Elsy, CEO, HVM Catapult
  • Felipe A Rubio Castillo, Deputy Director, CIDESI, CONACYT R&D, Mexico - 'Reshoring or building advanced manufacturing capabilities, Mexico’s case'
  • Harry Moser, Founder and President, Reshoring Initiative, USA

Panel members for 2015 (presented by Nick Hussey MD, The Manufacturer):

  • Dick Elsy
  • Professor Iain Gray CBE, Cranfield University
  • David Kynaston
  • Clare Marett, Assistant Director, Advanced Manufacturing and Services at Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Harry Moser
  • Virander Paul, Deputy High Commissioner, Indian Embassy, London
  • Ian Pearce
  • Paul Sloman

National Manufacturing Debate 2014

Manufacturing Productivity in the UK


British manufacturers are increasingly opting to use local suppliers as the cost of outsourcing abroad rises and incentives to move production back to the UK are more attractive. This has the potential to improve the UK's industrial base, create jobs, and ultimately strengthen our economy. But where does UK manufacturing productivity rank against international competitors and how can we improve it? What does Government/industry need to do to ensure this trend continues?

Cranfield University, jointly with the ERA Foundation, carried out a national survey into manufacturing productivity in the UK, the results of which were published as a white paper. Manufacturing professionals were asked to complete an online survey, in order to identify a clearer understanding of the patterns within the national productivity data, root causes for the productivity decline, and develop recommendations for improvements in productivity.

Keynote presentations (chaired by Lord Alec Broers):

  • Lord Alec Broers
  • Professor Sir Peter Gregson - Cranfield University
  • Professor Rajkumar Roy
  • Richard Kenworthy, Director, Engine Manufacturing Division, Toyota UK - ‘Productivity Kaizen at Toyota UK’
  • Warren East, Ex-CEO, ARM Holding Plc and Non Exec Director, BT and other engineering companies
  • Ian Waddell, National Officer - Unite the Union
  • Tracey Marsden, Partner, Nabarro - 'Managing performance; the good, the bad and the ugly'
  • Dr Martin Howarth, Director National Centre of Food Engineering, Sheffield Hallam University - ‘Productivity in food and drink manufacturing – the UK’s largest manufacturing sector’
  • David Caddle, Area Director, The Manufacturing Advisory Service - 'Productivity - the challenge for small and medium sized manufacturers'
  • Rt. Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science

Questions from the audience: 

In particular, we looked to answer the following:

  • Where does UK manufacturing productivity rank against international competitors?
  • How can UK manufacturing productivity be improved?
  • How can the UK encourage more students into engineering in general, and into higher postgraduate degrees? What is putting off UK students from pursuing higher degrees in general?
  • How does the manufacturing industry in the UK propose to influence young people from an early age? The image that they currently have turns many able students away from seriously considering it as a career choice. Is a national structured approach to students from primary through to secondary school a way forward? Do companies have their own local initiatives with schools such as organising visits and events for students and teachers?

Submitted debate discussion areas:  

"The main problem, in my view, is that the threat of takeovers causes public companies to be short-termist, which leads to the loss of manufacturing and the problems of the current account and fiscal deficits. Takeovers also lead to the loss of manufacturing companies, but I think that this is the lesser problem. The threat affects all companies not just those being taken over."

Panel members for 2014 (chaired by Jane Gray, editor of The Manufacturer):

  • Ian Waddell - Unite the Union
  • Martin Howarth - Sheffield Hallam
  • Tracey Marsden - Nabarro
  • Richard Kenworthy - Toyota
  • Andrea Rodney - Hone-All Precision
  • John Murray Brown - Financial Times
  • David Caddle - The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS)
  • Mark Jolly - Cranfield University

National Manufacturing Debate 2013

National Strategy for UK Manufacturing

Download the full report

“Inefficient Foreign Trade Agreements.”
“...the lack of joined up thinking between industry, Government and education.”
“...the need for more young people to choose manufacturing.”

These were some of the many comments at last week’s National Manufacturing Debate 2013 hosted by Cranfield University.

The fourth national debate focused on whether a national manufacturing strategy is needed and if it could achieve a 20% GDP by 2020, something that Professor Rajkumar Roy, Head of the Manufacturing and Materials Department at the University, believes is possible, but “only with input from British people.”

Keynote presentations (chaired by Lord Alec Broers):

  • Michael Fallon, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise
  • Stephen Odell, Chairman & CEO Ford of Europe
  • Dick Elsy, CEO, High Value Manufacturing Catapult
  • John Elliott, Founder and Chairman of Ebac
  • Peter Marsh, Financial Times
  • Brian Holliday, Divisional Director - Industry Automation, Siemens Plc
  • Martin McKervey, Partner, Nabarro LLP
  • Dr Geoffrey Davies OBE, Managing Director, Alamo Group Europe Ltd, Vice President, Alamo Inc (USA)

The lively afternoon debate was chaired by BBC reporter Maggie Philbin and generated many comments from the audience on a variety of subjects, from materials to sustainability. The panel agreed that manufacturing has the potential to improve the economy of the UK, young people being the key to the future of the sector, as well as their teachers and mentors. A number of the panellists also noted that it is important to find ways to bridge ‘the valley of death’ - turning innovative conceptual ideas into reality. Collaborative efforts of large organisations in partnering or mentoring SMEs could be the key to success.

Summing up, Maggie commented that if it isn’t a national strategy that is required, then it is certainly a form of manufacturing ‘ecosytem’ incorporating all elements of the manufacturing industry, from academia to SMEs, Government and large international corporations, working together.

Debate panel members (presented by Maggie Philbin, BBC reporter and CEO of TeenTech):

  • Mark Claydon-Smith, Lead - Manufacturing, EPSRC
  • Martin McKervey, Partner, Nabarro LLP
  • Peter Marsh, Financial Times
  • Dick Elsy, CEO, High Value Manufacturing Catapult
  • Mike Rigby, Head of Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Barclays
  • Brian Holliday, Divisional Director - Industry Automation, Siemens Plc
  • John Elliott, Founder and Chairman of Ebac
  • Dr Geoffrey Davies OBE, Managing Director, Alamo Group Europe Ltd, Vice President, Alamo Inc (USA)
  • Professor John Nicholls, Head of the Surface Engineering and Nanotechnology Institute, Cranfield University

National Manufacturing Debate 2012

Enhancing the Supply Chain for Growth

Download the full report

Held on 29 and 30 May 2012, the event included tours and demonstrations of Cranfield facilities, as well as keynote speakers and the main debate.  

Leading the keynote presentations was Lord Alec Broers Kt, FRS, FREng, joined by a number of industry and academic speakers including Iain Gray, CEO of TSB, Jon Bolton, Long Products Business Manager at Tata Steel, Karl Eddy and CEO of Grant Thornton/MAS discussing how to enable the manufacturing industry to grow in the UK.

The debate, held on 30 May, was chaired by Will Stirling, Editorial Director at The Manufacturer, who led a 10-strong panel consisting of academic and industry representatives, who debated: ‘What can be done to enhance the supply chain to facilitate growth in UK manufacturing?’

Building on the success of the 2011 debate, which discussed long-term job creation in manufacturing, the supply chain for manufacturers came through clearly as a relevant topic. We listened to comments from UK manufacturers and dedicated this year’s debate entirely to enable a full-on debate about the issues, the problems and the solutions. This year’s debate was focused on ‘Enhancing the supply chain for growth in UK manufacturing’.

Professor Rajkumar Roy, Head of the Manufacturing and Materials Department, said: “UK manufacturing needs a stronger supply chain within the country. We must to do more to support small and medium enterprises and to grow the size and capability of the companies.”

Research developed off the back of the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index revealed that production across the UK grew at its fastest pace for 10 months in March 2012. This is a promising development along with support from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative which will provide loans and grants to help increase capacity in key sectors and industries and attract international companies to establish operations in the UK.

National Manufacturing Debate 2011

Investment, Incentives and Innovation (I3)

Download the full report

Following the success of the first event held in 2010, which focused on shaping a secure and sustainable future for manufacturing and discussed current and future challenges and opportunities, this event attracted over 200 delegates from a range of manufacturing industries, Government and academia for a passionate discussion about the future of manufacturing in the UK. 

Keynote speakers included Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise; Sir Alan Rudge CBE FREng FRS, Chairman, ERA Foundation; Dr Gareth Williams, Vice President R&T Business Development & Partnerships, Airbus; Philip Greenish CBE, Chief Executive, The Royal Academy of Engineering; Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Institute of Manufacturing, University of Cambridge; Andreas Pelz, Global Chief of Service Engineering, Rolls-Royce Plc, Germany; Chris Cassley, Economics and Enterprise Directorate, CBI; Robin Cartwright, KPMG partner, London; and Dr Margareta Groth, Head, Manufacturing and Materials, VINNOVA, Sweden

Following the presentations, the National Manufacturing Debate, chaired by Ken Hurst, editor of Works Management magazine, took place. The motion ‘Can the manufacturing sector create a significant number of long-term jobs and a regional balance?’ was debated, resulting in a lively discussion amongst the audience. The panellists were Dr Will Barton, TSB; Sir Alan Rudge CBE, ERA Foundation; Chris Cassley, CBI; Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Institute of Manufacturing, University of Cambridge; Dr Margareta Groth, VINNOVA, Sweden; Andreas Pelz, Rolls-Royce Plc, Germany; Robin Cartwright, KPMG, London; Steve Jenkins, Specialist Microwave Solutions Ltd; and Professor Phil Webb, Cranfield University.

National Manufacturing Debate 2010

Manufacturing for Recovery

Download the full report

The National Manufacturing Debate 2010 focused on manufacturing for the recovery, bringing together top industry executives to discuss current and future challenges and opportunities, and demonstrate how technological developments and innovations are helping to shape a secure and sustainable future for manufacturing.

Through a combination of keynote addresses, interactive workshops and expert panel discussions, the conference discussed solutions to ensuring the industry is well paced to take advantage of the economic recovery.

Topics and speakers included:

  • Challenges of Servitised Manufacturing - Greg Bolan, Head of Capability Development, Performance Excellence, BAE Systems
  • Technology for High Value-Added Manufacturing: the Engine of Economic Growth - Professor Ric Parker, Director of Research and Technology, Rolls-Royce Plc
  • Manufacturing Directions - Martin Temple, Director General, EEF
  • The Manufutures Programme and the Future of Manufacturing in Europe - Frank Knecht, Executive Director, EFFRA
  • The Role of the TSB for the Future of Manufacturing in the UK - Will Barton, TSB
  • The Future of Manufacturing Research - Dr Derek Gillespie, Portfolio Manager, Manufacturing and Design, Materials, Mechanical and Medical Engineering Programme, EPSRC

The panel debate was chaired by Ken Hurst, Editor of Works Management magazine. Panellists included Greg Bolan of BAE Systems, Professor Ric Parker of Rolls-Royce, Jerry Hardcastle of Nissan, Robin Cheyne of MAS, Stefan March of SMMT Industry Forum, Mike South of Factura, and Professor Stewart Williams of Cranfield University