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18 Apr 2024

Secretary of State delivers speech at the Manufacturing Technologies Association exhibition

Secretary of State delivers speech at the Manufacturing Technologies Association exhibition
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The Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan delivers speech at the Manufacturing Technologies Association exhibition on Tuesday 16 April.

Secretary of State Michelle Donelan emphasised the UK's prominent position in global manufacturing and highlights the critical role of quality in shaping its future, stating: "The real challenge today – and the one that will define the future of manufacturing – is quality.” Donelan went on to state that invention, innovation, design, execution and scaling are ingredients of high-end manufacturing that the UK has in abundance.”

Drawing from her experience as former Universities Minister, Donelan states: “I know firsthand how our world-class higher education system forms the backbone of advanced manufacturing in the UK. Nearly a decade ago, before I was elected to Parliament, I created the Wiltshire Festival of Engineering. Sponsored by some of the world’s leading manufacturers, including Dyson and Airbus, we were able to inspire thousands of Wiltshire school children into careers in STEM.”

Donelan also speaks about supply chain disruption, commenting: “The past four years have brought with them a relentless barrage of stories about supply chain disruption. From the coronavirus pandemic to the war in Ukraine and even a ship stuck in the Suez, the links that hold our economy together seem more fragile than ever.

“And if these stories have taught us anything, it is that the ability to make our own things, on our own terms, is fundamental if we want to face our future head on.”

Donelan identified AI as a transformative force in manufacturing, stating, "There is one technology, more than any other, that promises to transform manufacturing in the decades to come and that is AI." She highlighted its potential to enhance efficiency, safety, and product development, saying, "AI promises nothing less than a revolution for manufacturing."

In the past decade, the UK has allocated over £3.5 billion towards AI research and development, signalling a concerted effort to harness its transformative power in the manufacturing sector.

To read the full speech please visit this linkSecretary of State speech at the Manufacturing Technologies Association exhibition, Birmingham - GOV.UK (

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