A prominent leader and economist asked more manufacturers in the West Midlands to adopt robotics and automation, highlighting the region’s unique ability to take on new technology and its historic manufacturing capabilities as key drivers.
Speaking yesterday at a conference at Coventry’s Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC), John Mills, founder of consumer goods company JML, said the West Midlands may once again be the beating heart of the UK economy, but only whether its manufacturers are ready to adopt robotics and automation and have the right government support.
The two day event, Robotics and automation: a new perspective, took place on 4 and 5 May, with the aim of bringing these new innovations closer to the British industry, inspiring business leaders and exploring the future challenges of the sector. Delegates at the event included industrial companies, robot suppliers, systems integrators, researchers and educators.
John Mills, a keynote speaker at the event, noted that this investment would help producers become more profitable, as well as bring jobs and growth to the region. He also said that in order to grow our economy we also need an exchange rate that makes manufacturing in the UK competitive again, otherwise we risk losing an even greater share of world trade.
John Mills (center) believes the West Midlands has a unique ability to deal with new technology
Mills founded the Institute for Prosperity in 2020, a cross-cutting think tank fighting to increase levels of production and economic growth in the UK and whose advisory board includes Rt. Hon. Sir Vince Cable, Caroline Flint and John Penrose MP .
The West Midlands is home to numerous manufacturing companies, research institutes and extensive development experience. According to the West Midlands Growth Company, the region is at the heart of the UK’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, with 113,600 employees in 5,250 companies.
John Mills, founder of the Institute for Prosperity, said: “Britain was the workshop of the world and the West Midlands were a key part of it. Manufacturing companies have closed and blocked the country, and this is largely due to the lack of investment in mechanization and new technologies. The government must do everything in its power to reverse this situation and increase the amount of goods produced in Britain. “
“With so many viable British manufacturers based here and companies across the country slow to adopt these new technologies, the West Midlands has the opportunity to once again become the flagship of the British crown when it comes to manufacturing. “
Mills continued: “If we invest in technology, mechanization and energy in the Midlands, the region has unmatched potential to lead the UK in the sector. We need to shake the perception that automation means fewer jobs. Instead, new jobs and opportunities will replace mundane tasks and businesses here will grow, once again bringing high-paying jobs and prosperity back to the West Midlands. “