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New body to boost manufacturing in the Midlands

Posted on 09 Jun 2020 and read 1080 times
New body to boost manufacturing in the MidlandsThe Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) chief executive Dr Clive Hickman has been appointed to head a new body launched last week aimed at leading the resurgence of the manufacturing industry in the Midlands.

The Midlands’ Manufacturing Resilience Commission, to be known as M2R, will review the Midlands’ manufacturing landscape post-Covid-19, contribute to the creation of a wider Midlands’ manufacturing strategy and develop recommendations to help build the region’s manufacturing resilience and its subsequent economic impact. Contributions will be invited from senior representatives from industry, academia and government.

Dr Hickman said: “Through the recent crisis we have seen the manufacturing sector respond to the needs of the hour, including through vital initiatives such as the Ventilator Challenge and the production of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We are proud of what we achieved, but we believe there are lessons to be learned, not least in terms of how we, here in the Midlands, can work together to maximise our impact, and develop a strategy that will put our region on the map, not only nationally but also internationally.

He added: "In these challenging times, we must build on our strengths; our skills, our heritage and our willingness to respond and adapt to new challenges. I look forward to leading this process and delivering a commission that will make a real difference to our region."

The Mayor of the West Midlands and lead sponsor of M2R Andy Street said: “I am pleased to support this vital initiative. I know how important manufacturing is to the region through jobs, investment and growth. We need an overarching report that will identify how we can work better together.

“The lessons we have learned through the last few months have given a real urgency to understanding what we need to do to be at the forefront of world-class manufacturing, something which is very close to my heart."

Dr Hickman has been chief executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre for 10 years. Previously he had more than 35 years' experience in the automotive industry culminating in the position of head of engineering for Tata Motors in India. He also established the Tata Motors European Technical Centre Plc in the UK.

He began his career as a senior engineer with the Rover Group before becoming engineering and group operations director at MIRA. He subsequently joined Ricardo plc where he held a seat on the board and was managing director of Ricardo UK Ltd.

Born in Coseley, in the West Midlands, he is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and is also a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.