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Newsletter Listing intro for week 10

Welcome to the Friday Brief for 7 March 2014.
The Seminar Programme for MACH 2014 has just been finalised as we go to press with this week’s Friday Brief. The line-up is very exciting with leading figures from across UK manufacturing represented in the five day programme. Topics to be discussed include the latest developments in 3D and additive manufacturing, promoting supply chain innovation, the prospects for civil aerospace growth, developing engineering skills and exporting to emerging markets.
There is a distinctly European theme to this week’s Friday Brief with news of a number of initiatives. Of particular interest is a new funding scheme targeting small and medium enterprise research and development. The EU SME R&D funding programme’s current aim is to support companies operating in the advanced manufacturing technology sector. The scheme has a 250 million Euro fund to distribute over the next two years, is designed to assist companies rather than just projects and has application support on offer.
Also on the European front we have news of initiatives on standards and the debate on quality versus speed for standardisation. Of interest to members concerned with Thermal Issues and machine tools is a conference in Zurich later this month. We have full details in the Brief.
China also features this week with the latest manufacturing report from our office in the country. Congratulations go the PTG for winning an export award in China. We carry a full report and photograph in this week’s Brief.
On the wider economic data front this week we see strong PMI figures from the UK and USA along with continued signs of recovery in Europe. There is also a timely reminder to send back your returns for latest MTA Business Survey.
Finally, the MQM scheduled to take place on Wednesday12 March at Delcam’s headquarters in Birmingham has had to be postponed now until after MACH 2014.

Have a good weekend.

Thermal Issues conference

Thermal Issues conference

Euspen’s Special Interest Group meeting entitled Thermal Issues will be held at the Novotel Zurich City-West Hotel, Switzerland
19th- 20th March 2014. The final Programme has been structured to provide an excellent opportunity to engage with expertise, to create stimulating discussions and to network with professionals from industry and academia.

Chinese manufacturing activity

Chinese manufacturing activity

Although the manufacturing sector in China contracted in January with the HSBC PMI reading falling to 50.5, it still represented the 16th straight month with a positive reading. The contraction was put down to weak domestic demand. The sub index for production stood at 53.0 down 0.9 points from December.

Economic data this week

Economic data this week

PMI, UK and Euro-zone, February 2014:  The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the UK rose marginally in February to 56.9 and has now been in positive territory for 11 consecutive months.  Both production and new business are running well above their long-term trend levels and this led to an increase in employment which was at its fastest rate since May 2011.  Markit, who carry out the research, report that this expansion is spread across consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors.

Euro Standards

Euro Standards

The European standards organisations CEN and CENELEC have been discussing Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) with the European Commission under the EU Regulation 1025/2012 on European Standardisation. Once signed, the FPAs will legally formalise the public-private partnership together with a 50% co-funding agreement.

Greater China Business Award

Greater China Business Award

MTA member Precision Technologies Group (PTG) received the Greater China Business Award for the North West at the Greater China Awards and Chinese New Year Dinner. The Award recognised the company’s significant contribution to developing business and network links with Greater China, including bi-lateral trade and investment.

EU funding for SME sector

EU funding for SME sector

The EU SME Instrument for Research & Development & Innovation financing offers opportunities for small and medium-sized machine tool companies. The next phase of the programme is aimed at advanced manufacturing.

Available under Horizon 2020, the European Union's funding programme for research and innovation for 2014-2020, the scheme will provide direct funding to SMEs through the new SME Instrument which is a company not project-centred programme.