Westminster Business Forum

Key issues for UK high value manufacturing - innovation and investment, skills and partnerships, and the future for international trade

December 2019

As policymakers prepare for policy in the new parliament, this conference will be an opportunity to examine key issues for supporting the UK high value manufacturing sector.

Areas for discussion include:

  • Industrial strategy sector deals - progress and next steps;
  • Managing uncertainty - at a critical time for the future of the UK’s relationship with trading partners;
  • Investment, innovation, efficiency and sustainability - priorities for government and for the sector; and
  • Developing the sector’s skills base and attracting young people and under-represented groups.

The agenda and keynote speakers

Keynote contributions:

  • Government policy - a view from industry - with Steven Barr, Managing Director, Edge Digital Manufacturing;
  • Industry 4.0 - progress and next steps for sustainability, innovation and investment in research and development - with a panel including:
    • Andy Schofield, Manufacturing & Materials Strategy and Technology Director, BAE Systems;
    • Chris McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Materials Processing Institute;
    • Rosa Wilkinson, Communications Director, High Value Manufacturing Catapult; and
    • James Selka, CEO, The Manufacturing Technologies Association.
  • Reassessing the scale of manufacturing’s contribution to the UK economy - with Dr Eoin O’Sullivan, Centre for Science Technology and Innovation Policy, University of Cambridge;
  • Sector skills - what is needed from industry, government and universities to attract young people and under-represented groups - with a panel including:
    • John Patsavellas, Senior Lecturer in Manufacturing Management, Cranfield University;
    • Chris Donkin, Partner, Savannah Group; and
    • Ann Watson, CEO, Semta.
  • High value manufacturing post-Brexit - with Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive Officer, Make UK.

Policy officials attending

Westminster Business Forum conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have already reserved places representing: BEIS; Defra; DfT; DIT; HSE; MoJ; Office for the Secretary of State for Wales; The Scottish Government; UK Space Agency and the Welsh Government.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Business Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates