The UK Industrial Strategy reveals engineering skills needs

At the end of March the UK Industrial Strategy took a major step forward with the publication of sector strategies for aerospace, civil nuclear energy and oil and gas. The Life Sciences strategy has already been in place for 15 months. In all there are eleven key sectors, (including automotive manufacturing) and in coming months… Read more »

The State of the Union: Advanced Manufacturing

The United States and China have recently been neck and neck in the race to be the largest manufacturing sector in the global economy. United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD) reported that in 2012 China had definitely overtaken the US. At first sight manufacturing does not appear to be a major factor in… Read more »

Meeting the Civil Nuclear Supply Chain Skills Challenge

The UK’s plans to replace its nuclear electricity generation capacity, with estimated expenditure of £60bn up to 2030, are often in the headlines, for example with the decision of Hitachi to join the programme.  There is also a major but less well known programme of nuclear decommissioning. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), formed in April… Read more »

Key developments in Aerospace & Defence

The UK aerospace industry currently has about 17% of the global market and aims to maintain that share to 2030 as the global market expands substantially. In 2012 the global aerospace and defence industry increased its revenues by over $7bn. Sales from the production of commercial aircraft increased by over $13bn. The defence segment, on… Read more »

Is Lean Frugal?

In July 2012, Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, published a report, Our Frugal Future: Lessons from India’s Innovation System. Frugal Innovation (FI) is a response to limitations in resources, whether financial, material or institutional which turns those constraints into an advantage. Through minimising the use of resources in development, production and delivery, or by leveraging… Read more »

The new climate for Railway investment in Great Britain

The debate about the growth prospects of the UK economy often focuses on the role of infrastructure investment, especially road and rail investment. The potential of the rail sector has been recognised by the European Community’s in its ambitious plan for investment this decade in R&D, Horizon 2020. The European rail sector has emerged as… Read more »

Developments in the UK Nuclear Supply Chain

In Russia, India and China some 45 reactors are under construction. Across Europe there are 140 nuclear reactors that are either under construction, in the planning process or under consideration in a total of 23 countries. If NNB Generation, the joint venture between EDF Energy, Centrica and Areva, decide to build new nuclear reactors at… Read more »

The UK Industrial Strategy Debate Heats Up

The CBI has been investigating the UK’s global competitors’ approach to industrial strategy as part of their campaign for the UK to develop a better framework for rebalancing the economy.   As they put it, ‘ most countries have a clear vision that underlies their policy-making, one that highlights where that country sees itself in the… Read more »

Current issues in Lean

MIT’s Lean Aerospace Initiative has rebranded itself as the Lean Advancement Initiative (LAI), broadening its scope and relevance. Siemens in the US has joined LAI. Working with the Project Management Institute and the International Council on Systems Engineering, LAI has published a substantial study – The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs –… Read more »

High Value Manufacturing Strategy

Commentators have been calling on the Coalition recently to develop an industrial strategy. In fact the Defence Industrial Strategy and Life Sciences Strategy are already in place. At the end of May the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) launched the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Strategy. This follows the increased priority that the previous government placed on… Read more »