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Friday Brief

Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.

We’ll start with a reminder from last week’s Brief that we are looking for our members’ support of the Year of Engineering, so please have a read and participate. The government has declared 2018 as the ‘Year of Engineering’ and, with MACH 2018 just around the corner we would like to gain the support of all our members and exhibitors by championing this project. Please read the story below and get in contact with Tom Lane at the MTA to pledge your support, email Tom at tlane@mta.org.uk.

This week finally saw progress in the Brexit negotiations as the European Council gave its assent that sufficient progress has been made on Phase 1 to move on to Phase 2; Transition and Trade. The MTA is supporting the CBI’s call for the Transition to be a smooth as possible with little or no change for business in the short term. On Trade we are involved in discussions with BEIS as to how best to support them in relation to our sector with some arrangements expected to be agreed in the New Year.

A partnership between the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and one of the most dynamic manufacturing regions in South Korea was praised by the UK government this week for its role in opening-up new markets for British know-how and industry. Universities Minister, Jo Johnson, said plans for the AMRC Asia’s Industry 4.0 Centre “represents the type of innovative growth the UK government has committed itself to in its new Industrial Strategy – building on mutual strengths for the creation of new industries and infrastructure that will boost productivity, competitive advantage and economic growth.” Find out more about this exciting project below.

The British Business Bank is the Government backed institution which underwrites financial products that the Banks find difficult, but which are useful for Business. Its work was expanded in the Budget and we have an update below. Of particular interest is the extension of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, which adds some Government support to ‘push the needle’ on borderline funding decisions, to Asset Finance providers, something the MTA has been pushing for. It’s a small start but hopefully will grow.  

DATA, the Design and Technology Association, has been running a project with a group of schools who have been introducing robotics to their students linked to a range of ‘real life’ activities we have developed around them.  Previously, these schools would not have had access to this technology within their Design and Technology curriculum. Find out how you can get involved in the story below.

The MTA Business Survey for November will be closing on Monday, so there is still time to get your data to us - the on-line form at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-nov17 is still open

The good economic news for Europe continues in two pieces of data published this week; industrial production has increased - although the capital goods figures are less positive, this appears to be in part because of the adjustment of the German data for the number of days worked, so we need to keep an eye on that over the next few months – and GDP in both the Euro-zone and the EU28 has been revised up to an annualised rate of +2.6%.  The UK is now one of the slowest growing economies in Europe, ahead of only Denmark and Greece.  Exports of engineering goods, which account for more than half of all manufactured goods shipments, are increasing strongly, in part reflecting the weakness of Sterling;  imports are growing less strongly, but we still have a trade deficit in most elements of Engineering, with the notable exception of Aerospace.  We also have news on the US market, availability of reports and data from recent exchanges in Europe and the latest report for the Contract Price Adjustment service that we subscribe to for members.

That’s all for this week, from everyone at the MTA have a great weekend.

Support The Year of engineering

Support The Year of engineering

With MACH 2018 just around the corner and the fact that the government has declared next year as the ‘Year of Engineering’, we would like to gain the support of all our members and exhibitors by championing this project.

We would like to ask you to sign the below letter on behalf of your company to pledge your commitment to promoting engineering as a career.

MACH 2018 is the UK’s largest showcase of advanced engineering and manufacturing technologies, it is the perfect chance to champion our industry as a collective.

British Business Bank

British Business Bank

The Autumn Budget marked an important milestone in the Bank’s development. The Chancellor announced a package of measures that increased the funds available to the BBB by two-thirds, to £6.2bn. This marks an increase in both the scope and the extent of the Banks activities. It comes on the back of the Patient Capital Review which examined why the UK has traditionally underperformed in this area.

There were three main points:

MTA BUSINESS SURVEY

MTA BUSINESS SURVEY

The MTA Business Survey for November will be closing on Monday, so there is still time to get your data to us - the on-line form at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-nov17 is still open.  This survey provides a valuable insight in to activity in the manufacturing technology sector that you cannot get anywhere else, so we would encourage all MTA members to participate - with thanks to those who have already sent us your figures.

ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

European Industrial Production, October 2017:  The latest data from Eurostat shows that following the small dip in September, total industrial production in the Euro-zone had a month-on-month growth rate of +0.2%, with the level +3.7% above that of a year earlier (October 2016).  For the EU28 the rates were +0.3% and +4.2% respectively.

Robotics in Schools: Showcase Invite

Robotics in Schools: Showcase Invite

In alignment with the Government’s Industry Strategy White Paper (Nov 2017), which highlighted the need for school pupils to have access to digital technologies, DATA have been running a project with a group of local schools who have been introducing robotics to their students linked to a range of ‘real life’ activities we have developed around them.  Previously, these schools would not have had access to this technology within their Design and Technology curriculum.