Science and technology select committee visits West Midlands to speak to manufacturing and innovation leaders

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Members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee visited the Manufacturing Technology Centre to hear about how research and innovation is creating new jobs and boosting economic growth across the West Midlands.

The committee met with Clive Hickman, chief executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, and Katherine Bennett CBE, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. The group toured the MTC’s Antsy Park campus to see first-hand the advanced research and development work taking place across the site.

MPs were shown the MTC’s work to support a consortium of leading UK manufacturers in helping produce more than 11,000 ventilators at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also saw how the MTC is working to help modernise the construction sector through new manufacturing approaches and technologies, as part of the Construction Innovation Hub.

MPs heard how the MTC’s world-beating facilities are helping the UK become a world leader in green manufacturing and construction, with its expertise of turning ideas developed through research into a reality. The West Midlands technology sector is the fastest growing in the UK, and is set to add £2.7 billion to the economy by 2025, along with 52,000 jobs.

As part of the evidence session held during the visit, the committee discussed the opportunities for economic growth created by technology, research and innovation, and measures needed to support and accelerate research and development in the UK as part of efforts to recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clive Hickman, chief executive of the MTC, said, “We are delighted to have hosted the Science and Technology Select Committee to showcase our proud manufacturing heritage, record of attracting business investment, and specialist talent and expertise. The MTC is helping manufacturers adopt cutting-edge technology, delivering growth, skills and jobs. It is vital that the Government continues to invest in research and innovation to spearhead our economic recovery, and to accelerate the growth of our industrial heartlands.”

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.

Pictured: The select committee at the MTC

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