Torch sparks

Over 300 delegates from across industry, academia and Government today attended the annual National Manufacturing Debate hosted by Cranfield University.

Making the opening keynote speech, Business Minister Anna Soubry MP highlighted the importance of manufacturing to the UK economy.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said: "Cranfield University has a world-class reputation for developing cutting-edge research in manufacturing and that is why I was delighted to give the key note speech at their debate today. This is a sector we should all be proud of and that's why I wanted to come here and champion our manufacturers.

"This government knows just how important manufacturers are to our economy and that's why we are investing an extra £1 billion in aerospace and automotive R&D and nearly £7 billion in the UK's research infrastructure. R&D and innovation will be vital to ensuring a successful and cutting-edge UK manufacturing sector as we move towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

Speakers at today’s event included: Hamid Mughal, Global Manufacturing Director at Rolls-Royce; Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF and Anna Leach, Head of Economic Analysis at the CBI.

Professor Rajkumar Roy, Director of Manufacturing at Cranfield University added: “Too often, UK manufacturing is written off and dismissed as an industry in decline. Now in its seventh year, the National Manufacturing Debate provides a forum for industry, academia and Government to come together to champion the sector, promote innovation and celebrate manufacturing’s successes.”

Notes for editors

About the National Manufacturing Debate

The National Manufacturing Debate is an annual event hosted by Cranfield University. It brings together manufacturing professionals to discuss and debate current challenges in the industry. The event encourages networking and collaboration across the sector to enable continued and long-term growth. 

For further information about the National Manufacturing Debate, please visit:

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.