Summit aims to boost post-covid recovery in Welsh manufacturing


27.05.2021

Supporting industry’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic is a key priority for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD).

hands holding paper with MADE Cymru logo

The University has a demonstrable track record for working with industry through knowledge transfer, research innovation, workforce development and by providing a ready pipeline of skilled students and graduates, in partnership with employers.

In addition, UWTSD’s MADE Cymru initiative was established to support manufacturing industries in Wales to adapt to the challenges of Industry 4.0. The initiative, funded by the EU via the Welsh Government, aims to support the economic recovery of manufacturers in Wales by offering part and fully funded training to businesses to upskill staff, as well as research and development that improves processes and products to reduce waste and costs.

In addition, UWTSD and MADE Cymru have organised an Industry Summit to be held online between the 8th – 10th June to inform, engage and inspire businesses during this critical period of post-Covid recovery.

Expert speakers will be sharing their insights including James Davies from Industry Wales, Carol Hall, Regional Investment Manager, Development Bank of Wales, Chris Probert, Innovation Specialist, Welsh Government and Geraint Jones, Knowledge Transfer Adviser at KTN.

The line-up also includes Welsh manufacturers who will be sharing their own experiences, including Tim Hawkins, Managing Director, Markes International, Julia Chesney-Roberts, Commercial Manager, Riversimple, Angus Grahame, Founder of Splosh and Jacques Bonfrer, Co-Founder and Team Lead, Bot-Hive. There will be guest talks from circular economy expert Eoin Bailey and lean author Daryl Powell and an opportunity to find out about the range of services offered by the University. 

Graham Howe, Executive Head of the MADE Cymru project at UWTSD says,‘This Industry Summit aims to explore issues and challenges facing manufacturing in Wales so that we can work together with employers to find solutions.  We always start with asking a manufacturer what their biggest problem is today and look at how we can help them with it. We aim to unravel potentially confusing challenges like these. Our approach begins by looking at what companies need in order to increase their productivity and competitiveness.

We aim to lead the businesses we work with through a journey of continuous improvement – a journey that makes the most of Industry 4.0 technologies and their ever-growing digital capabilities to help solve the specific problems faced by each company. And all the feedback we receive from businesses shapes our curriculum – we want to produce employable, digitally literate graduates who can contribute to their workplace from day one”.

Alison Orrells is CEO and Managing Director of Safety Letterbox and has been one of the organisations participating in the MADE Cymru initiative, ‘It was important to keep innovating and investing to set us apart and come out stronger. It’s been intense but we had a game plan – now it is all about business future-proofing, being agile, collaborations and being adaptable.’

Covid-19 has impacted every faction of a business and shifted the focus from production to survival. UWTSD recently led a round table discussion with Welsh manufacturers about the future of manufacturing in Wales, and found that their outlook is positive about the future. Manufacturers accelerated their adoption of new technologies to enhance and optimise production. With many employees on furlough, managers took the opportunity to rethink and invest in better IT, particularly communications, training and diversified into new product areas. They looked to local colleges and universities to help shift perceptions of jobs in manufacturing and demonstrated the career opportunities and pathways available. They also loosened their reliance on overseas imports and looked for suppliers in the UK to minimise future risk of disruption.

To book a place at the Summit visit our website.

PROGRAMME

DAY ONE

Tuesday 8th June, 9.30am – 11.00am

“Summit launch and how Welsh manufacturing looks post-pandemic”

Manufacturing in Wales has survived and, in many cases, thrived during the Covid 19 pandemic. It is testament to the agile thinking of our businesses who have adapted by seeking out new processes, products and technologies.  As we now look towards the future, hear from James Davies, Industry Wales, about his reflections and insights on how we move forward in Wales.

James Davies, Executive Chairman, Industry Wales

Barry Liles, OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Graham Howe, Executive Head of MADE Cymru, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

 

Tuesday 8th June, 12:00pm - 1:30pm 

“Boosting the Welsh Economy – The Power of Collaboration” 

Two case studies demonstrating how Industry and Academia can work together to make a positive economic impact to industry in Wales.  

Tim Hawkins, Managing Director, Markes International

Martin Leahy, Vice Chairman, FuelActive

Luca Pagano, Sam Minshell, Akash Gupta & Alan Mumby, MADE Cymru, UWTSD

 

DAY TWO

Wednesday 9th June, 9.30am – 11.00am 

“Thinking Circular: What is Circular Economy and what difference can it make to you?”

Eoin Bailey discusses what having a circular economy can mean for SMEs and the growing need for businesses to adopt sustainable solutions. Discover the huge impact this can make by listening to some organisations who have taken a circular economy approach to their business models. Including a round table discussion to kickstart some ideas for an action plan on how we can take the circular economy debate forward. In particular, how can we engage SMEs in thinking circular?

Eoin Bailey, UK Innovation Manager, Celsa Steel

Julia Chesney-Roberts, Commercial Manager, Riversimple

Angus Grahame, Founder of Splosh

Graham Howe, Executive Head of MADE Cymru, UWTSD

 

Wednesday 9th June, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

“Lean first and then digitalise” 

Some practical insights on how continuous improvement initiatives could begin with a lean approach before considering Industry 4.0 technologies.

James Davies, Executive Chairman, Industry Wales

Daryl Powell, award-winning Lean author, Norwegian University of Science & Technology

Jacques Bonfrer, Co-Founder and Team Lead, Bot-Hive

Richard Morgan, School of Engineering, UWTSD

Graham Howe, Executive Head of MADE Cymru, UWTSD

 

DAY THREE

Thursday June 10th9.30am – 11.00am

“What support is available for businesses in Wales?”

This session will provide a brief overview of some of the funding, R&D opportunities, grants and other support available to your business.

Carol Hall, Regional Investment Manager, Development Bank of Wales

Chris Probert, Innovation Specialist, Welsh Government

Geraint Jones, Knowledge Transfer Adviser, KTN

 

Thursday June 10th2.00pm – 4.00pm

“MADE Cymru surgery”

Open the door to industry expertise in universities. In addition to the other Summit sessions, the MADE Cymru team and their colleagues would love to offer you the opportunity to meet (in a group or individually) to comment, discuss, signpost and/or support in any way we can. Whether that be to discuss upskilling, R&D, look over new product designs/ideas, share advice or just have a chat! Simply send your contact details to MADE@uwtsd.ac.uk - include a line about what you would like to discuss, an ideal time slot and they will do the rest (happy to sign NDAs prior to meet if required).

To find out more about MADE Cymru or the Summit, please call 01792 481199, email MADE@uwtsd.ac.uk or visit www.madecymru.co.uk

MADE Cymru is a suite of programmes designed to navigate organisations through Industry 4.0 via collaborative research & development and upskilling. Funded by the European Social Fund/European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Delivered by University of Wales Trinity Saint David.