Friday, 04 July 2014 09:45

MTA President stresses the importance of innovation

Addressing the Advances in Machining conference Mark Ridgway OBE, President of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), focused on the role that innovation can play in stabilising a business in volatile markets. He emphasised the importance of innovation in manufacturing but stressed the take up of this message has been surprisingly slow, quoting regional and national figures on the relatively poor innovation performance of SMEs.

mark ridgway

Mark Ridgway OBE, President of the Manufacturing Technologies Association, speaking at the Advances in Machining conference.

Mark Ridgway said: “It is important that we not only seek to develop new technologies that better serve the existing needs of manufacturers but that we learn how to identify needs that customers may not realise they have today.

The Advances in Machining conference was held on 24 June, the first day of the Global Manufacturing Festival organised by the AMRC Sheffield. In his speech Mark stressed that innovation rarely comes in a visionary flash of lightening and more normally evolves over time. Referring to the machine tool and machining sector Mark emphasised that the industry offers great opportunity to shape the environment around it and be a true technological leader. He added: “What we can put inside the head of the customer is more important than that which we can put inside a box. Identify the need and the technology will follow.”

Mark concluded by highlighting the importance of ‘connectivity and open innovation’ in identifying needs that will form the basis of the innovation process. He said that product innovation becomes much more difficult when separated from the manufacturing process and welcomed the recent trend towards re-shoring manufacturing in the UK.

Additional Info

The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) is the UK trade association for the Manufacturing Technologies industry. The MTA sits at the core of the engineering based manufacturing with the aim to promote the use and innovation of advanced technology in manufacturing.

 Further information about the MTA and our members can be found on our web site at www.mta.org.uk

For further information contact Eric Beech on 0207 298 6420 or via e-mail at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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