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Future of Manufacturing Q1 2022

New technology spearheading manufacturing growth

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James Selka

CEO, Manufacturing Technologies Association

In the third decade of the 21st century new and exciting technologies are emerging that are shaping the future of manufacturing and the people who work within it. The technology might be generating new opportunities for UK manufacturers, but the important thing is to capitalise on this.


James Selka, CEO of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) is proud to champion the cause of advanced manufacturing and the many benefits it offers both to the industry, and the wider economy. “These new technologies are a far cry from the old metal-bashing techniques, which so many still misguidedly associate with the industry,” he says.

New technologies are driving productivity

“The truth is, Robotics, 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity now characterise manufacturing and their use is becoming more widespread.”

Selka says the impetus seen in the manufacturing sector of late is directly attributable to these new technologies, for the productivity improvements they deliver and for the opportunities they create, particularly in decarbonisation and the delivery of a net zero industry.

Decarbonisation is likely to be one of the major growth factors for the manufacturing sector in the next few decades.

Aiming for net zero through decarbonisation in manufacturing

“Decarbonisation is likely to be one of the major growth factors for the manufacturing sector in the next few decades; the Committee on Climate Change believes the UK’s commitment to net zero by 2050 alone could cost an additional 1-2% of GDP,” he says.

Led by the manufacturing sector, decarbonisation offers a major opportunity for the UK economy, not only in terms of higher output, but in terms of raising long-term productivity and creating sustainable long-term growth and jobs.

Manufacturing exhibition offers incentives for investment

Hundreds of exhibitors from across the manufacturing arena will attend the MTA’s MACH 2022 exhibition, taking place at Birmingham’s NEC next month [April]. Manufacturers looking to invest in the new technologies are being urged to take advantage of the financial incentives currently available, principally the Super Deduction initiative announced by the Chancellor last year.

“Bringing forward investment decisions to capitalise on these incentives will be crucial in determining how quickly UK industry recovers from the stagnating effects of the pandemic,” says Selka.

High on the agenda will also be the development of the skills necessary to capitalise on new opportunities, as will the capabilities of the unique network of firms comprising the UK manufacturing supply chain and their ability to deliver change.

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