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Full line-up for Made Smarter’s digital manufacturing conference revealed

03 March 2021

The full line-up for Made Smarter’s digital manufacturing conference has been revealed with 44 business and digitalisation leaders set to appear.

Billed as an event for manufacturers by manufacturers, the free-to-access virtual summit on March 10 will showcase how businesses can leverage and fast-track digital technology and tools for a year of recovery, growth and resilience.

Leading the agenda will be North West metro mayors Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester) and Steve Rotheram (Liverpool City Region) who will share their insights about the importance of the manufacturing sector, the role for digital technology in driving the growth, and the benefits technology is bringing to the North West economy.

There will also be panel discussions and roundtable debates, interactive workshops, a virtual expo of the latest digital manufacturing technologies, and business advice sessions, giving attendees access to support available to grow their organisation.

Almost 300 delegates have so far registered to attend the packed one-day programme, which runs from 9am until 5pm, and will be hosted virtually using PixelMax, an interactive online platform.

With registration closing at Midday on Friday, March 5, manufacturers are urged to book their places at the conference via

Donna Edwards, Programme Director, Made Smarter Adoption Programme, NW, said: “The response to the conference has been incredible confirming that there is significant appetite among manufacturers of all sizes across all sectors to learn about how technology can support growth, productivity and efficiency gains, and create the smart and highly skills job of the future.

“We have designed a full programme to tackle the 'why?', 'what?' and 'how?' of digital manufacturing, incorporating a blend of industry leaders, experts, and real-life examples of those who have started their digital journey.

“There really is something for everyone at the Made Smarter: The journey to digital manufacturing conference and I would urge manufacturers not to miss out on what is certain to be a packed day of analysis, inspiration, and practical tips.”

Live panel sessions include: 

• How Made Smarter is powering the fourth industrial revolution – facilitated by journalist and broadcaster Nick Peters and featuring manufacturing leaders including Juergen Maier, Co-Chair of the Made Smarter Commission and Chair of the Digital Catapult, Glyn Jones, Service Delivery Director at BAE Systems and Chair of the Made Smarter Pilot Steering Group, Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK and member of the Made Smarter Commission, Andrea Hough, MD of Atec Solutions and member of the Made Smarter Pilot Steering Group and Made Smarter Commission, Donna Edwards, Managing Director of the Growth Company and Made Smarter North West Adoption Programme Director, and Matt Ellis, Assistant Director of Made Smarter for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
• The journey to digital: The manufacturers perspective – facilitated by Jayne Moorby from Oxley Group and featuring real-life examples from manufacturers about the value technology has brought to their businesses including Keith Scobie-Youngs (Cumbria Clock Company), Peter Saunders, (MacKinnon and Saunders), Rod Wah (Beverston Engineering), and Luke Walsh (Brainboxes).
• Using technology to boost business resilience in an uncertain world – facilitated by Simon Reid from Growth Platform and featuring Julian Lopez (Storth), Patrick Mroczak (Nutree Life), Louise Ray (Plastic Card Services), Chris Lever (Bindatex), and Fadi Jarad (Sandstone Wirral).
• The teams of tomorrow: engaging and upskilling your workforce – facilitated by Ruth Hailwood from Made Smarter and featuring Sarah Dhanda (Enginuity), Joe Crolla (Greater Manchester Combined Authority), Sarah Poynter (Arden Dies), Rebecca Lee-Panton and Luke Hickson (Fabricon Design).
• Sustainable manufacturing: how technology is leading the way – facilitated by Poppy Brewer from Accenture, and featuring Ben Horne (Crystal Doors); Phil Milar (Creative Apparel); Jamie Baxter, (DA Techs), and David Reardon (Bloom-in-Box).

Also, on the agenda is a roundtable focused on the importance of customer trust and the role of technology, facilitated by Kevin Smith from Made Smarter, and featuring Steve Wood (Parity Medical), Sean Parnaby (Contactless Check Solutions), Karen Callard (Starlight Bedrooms), and Noel Doyle (Organica UK).

Throughout the day delegates will be able to access practical, actionable advice through workshops including: 

• Fast forward your digital journey: A taste of a digital transformation – led by Made Smarter’s technology advisers Amy Edwards and Kevin Smith with insights from Andrea Kuehne (DRM Industrial Fabrics) and Ben Soper (Stead McAlpin & Company), two of the 100+ businesses to have benefitted from Made Smarter’s Digital Transformation Workshops.
• Leading your manufacturing business through digital change – led by Lancaster University academic Dr Randall Zindler and featuring Dan Smith (Twin Fix) who benefited from the Made Smarter Leadership Programme.
• Digitisation does not eliminate the need for manufacturing excellence – an interactive session led by Nick Brandwood and Rachel Baldry from the Business Growth Hub’s Manufacturing Team about the behaviours and routines required for digital transformation.

Technology Demonstrators Alley will showcase the latest solutions available to manufacturers which enable them to integrate systems, capture and analyse data, create simulations of their plants and processes, as well as how 3D-printing, automation, and robotics can solve business challenges.

There will also be the opportunity to speak one on one with a variety of business advisers to explore the advice, support and funding available to manufacturers.

For more details about Made Smarter or to register for the conference visit

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