On 29th June 2021, we hosted our very first Innovative Manufacturing Working Group meeting and were overwhelmed by the turnout! An overview of the event and the slides from the speakers are shared below.
Innovation in manufacturing takes many forms and we had some real life examples presented to us. Al-Amin Dabo from the BCRRE Team at the University of Birmingham offered insights into accessing support to improve your rail offer through the DIGI-RAIL project. David Lunn from W.H. Tildesley Ltd told their story of working in partnerships with Innovate UK and other bodies. Both talks provided an opportunity to consider how we look at our own organisations.
The Innovative Manufacturing Working Group is part of a series of networks that run across the region and Pam Waddell from the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands shared information on the West Midlands Innovation Programme and the background to launching this group along with a suggestion of the direction for this group.
A core element of the session was the small discussion groups focusing on five questions:
1. Where do you get new ideas from?
2. What is stopping or enabling you to implement these new ideas?
3. Do you partner with any other organisations to work on your ideas?
4. Have you ever had a research or innovation grant? Tell us about it
5. What specific topics would you like to discuss over the coming year?
All of the groups enthusiastically engaged in the discussion and a summary of the comments shared can be read here.
Current Funding and Collaboration Opportunities
Talking about innovation is great but pushing this further we were pleased to have a segment specifically dedicated to promoting collaboration and innovation opportunities. Jennie McDonnell MBE took us through the current calls with a focus on net zero innovation funding available. Andrew Mair presented the opportunities with Aerospace Unlocking Potential. We were also fortunate to have some details on the West Midlands Made Smarter Adoption Programme that has been recently launched.
Next session is scheduled for 28 September 2021. You can register for the event here.