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Friday Brief

Welcome to the last Friday Brief of August - we have a range of stories and hope that something in what follows will be useful.

We start this introduction this week with a reminder that if you receive offers from marketing companies (or anyone else for that matter) for lists of contacts from MACH, be they visitors lists or pre-registrations, these are ENTIRELY BOGUS.  Please do not respond to them and forward the message to your contact at MTA/MACH so we can track these and take the appropriate action.

We are delighted to welcome ERLO Group as new members of MTA – you can find out more about them in the article below.

We have a couple of new initiatives to support businesses in the engineering sector:

  • Measurement for Recovery is a programme being developed by NPL which will help innovative UK companies to invest and grow post COVID-19 lockdown by boosting competitiveness and resilience
  • Innovate UK has a new strategy to encourage and support better design in the period 2020-2024 which it says will focus on making the case for investment in design, reducing the cost of entry for those new to design, helping businesses access the best design talent and helping businesses maximise the value contribution of design

There are also details of a couple of webinars coming up shortly:

  • New MTA Associate Member, Citation are holding a session exclusively for their fellow members on the HR challenges around bring people back to work.  Click on that article for more details on this timely event.
  • We also have details of a joint DIT and UK Export Finance event focussed on Latin America although we are also interested to hear of members recent experiences - good or bad - in working with UK Export Finance.

On this topic, the MTA CEO, James Selka, recently contributed to a podcast for The Leaders Council and there is a link in the item for those who want to listen to it.

The Manufacturing Institute has announced that their conference for this year will be an on-line Festival of Manufacturing Excellence and there are details below on how MTA members can get a discount on the cost of this event as well as a link to get more details on the programme.

We have a reminder about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which has proved useful for businesses during the disruption;  this will finish at the end of September, so now is the time to think about any new or additional financing that you might need.

The Bi-Mu exhibition in Milan in the middle of October will be the first manufacturing technology event to take place in Europe since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak and there is news this week of the special activities that are being included.

The economics news section this week includes notes on the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey which continues to reflect weak output and orders, although this is partly because they use a rolling 3-month trend and we should see this turn to a positive balance next month.  This optimism is driven by the flash estimates for the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) which is showing growth in the manufacturing sector in the UK, USA and Euro-zone with the output element particularly strong in the UK.  This is based on a month-on-month trend which illustrates the recovery that is underway, albeit one that has a long way to run yet.

In the style of the Warner Brothers cartoon - That’s All Folks!  We will be back next week with more news but until then, have a good (long) weekend and stay safe.

MEASUREMENT FOR RECOVERY (M4R)

MEASUREMENT FOR RECOVERY (M4R)

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has announced the new, Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme, helping innovative UK companies to invest and grow post COVID-19 lockdown.  This NPL-led programme will help to boost competitiveness and resilience.  Measurement for Recovery will allow NPL, along with partner National Measurement Laboratories to support UK industry with access to cutting-edge specialist solutions through our science and engineering expertise and facilities to support projects, at no charge.

EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR INVITATION - HR CHALLENGES BRINGING PEOPLE BACK TO WORK

EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR INVITATION - HR CHALLENGES BRINGING PEOPLE BACK TO WORK

Following the government announcement on 1 August, employees are now being encouraged to start going back into their usual workplaces where they can.  That means, whether because of this change in guidance or because of a change in the type or amount of work you can give your employees, you may now be looking to return members of staff to the workplace.  But are you prepared from an HR point of view?

EXPORTING OPPORTUNITIES IN LATIN AMERICA - WEBINAR

EXPORTING OPPORTUNITIES IN LATIN AMERICA - WEBINAR

The Department for International Trade (DIT) and UK Export Finance (UKEF) are holding a webinar on export opportunities to Latin America and the Caribbean (LATEC).  This is designed as an introduction on how UK Export Finance can support UK exporters and LATAC buyers of UK goods and services.

It is scheduled for Tuesday 8th September, at 4:00 pm.  The session will:

CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME

CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), has proved to be useful to many businesses across the UK.  It was launched earlier this year and designed to provide financial support to SMEs that have been impacted by COVID-19 and seen their cashflow disrupted.  The effects of the pandemic continue to present challenges to businesses and the future still looks uncertain but the scheme is due to end on 30th September and any applications for finance need to have been made by that date.

BI-MU32, MILAN, 14th TO 17th OCTOBER

BI-MU32, MILAN, 14th TO 17th OCTOBER

A reminder that this exhibition, promoted by UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, the Italian machine tools, robots and automation systems manufacturers' association, and organised by EFIM-ENTE FIERE ITALIANE MACCHINE is going ahead.  Despite the unique context, this year’s edition shows a good degree of participation by exhibitors, with a wide technological index of products and a positive expectation of attendance.

INNOVATE AIMS TO BOOST UK DESIGN

INNOVATE AIMS TO BOOST UK DESIGN

Innovate UK has a new strategy to encourage and support better design in the period 2020-2024.  Innovate says it will bring forward a programme focused on:

  • Making the case for investment in design
  • Reducing the cost of entry for those new to design
  • Helping businesses access the best design talent
  • Helping businesses maximise the value contribution of design

Grant funding will be available for ‘human-centred design activity’, that is, developing designs that are particularly user-friendly.  They assert that:

ECONOMIC NEWS

ECONOMIC NEWS

CBI Industrial Trends Survey, August 2020:  The latest results from the CBI Industrial Trends Survey suggest a sector that remains weak, although this is partly because while this is a monthly survey, the output question refers to a rolling 3-month trend.  The data collection period was 27 July to 17 August so, despite the date, most responses will cover May to July.