Good morning and welcome to the last Friday Brief of January - where has the month gone! We hope that you find something of interest among the news items this week.
Over the last few days, we have been running our MACH2022 preview, the highlight of which was a series of 7 on-line seminars; these are now available to view and the details are in the article below.
For our recurring themes of Brexit and Covid-19, our articles this week are a reminder of some links on important aspects of both of these topics. For the Coronavirus update there is a reminder about the travel exemptions for engineers although it is important to note that these do not apply to the countries which have the new travel ban. On Brexit, there are some updated links from HMRC, including some detailed topics.
We have information about the new investment support plan that has been put into place in Italy - this will be especially relevant for anyone exhibiting at EMO in October.
Closer to home, EAMA (the Engineering and Machinery Alliance), of which MTA is a member, has a new Chairman - he will be familiar to most MTA members as it is our former President, Mark Ridgway OBE, DL. Also in the news this week is a tie-up between the AMRC and the Turing Institute who will work together to identify opportunities for artificial intelligence (AI) adoption in manufacturing, accelerate research collaboration and boost skills development.
In the economic news this week we take a look at the production data for the automotive industry that SMMT released this week; it will be a couple of weeks before we get the value based data for this industry (and others) from the ONS but this is a first look at what was a record-breaking year (for all the wrong reasons!) for this important customer industry. We also cover the latest data on profitability in the UK (an important driver for investment), the Economic Sentiment index published by the European Commission (which includes the new capacity utilisation figures) and the trends in the US market for manufacturing technology and cutting tools.
Finally, in the economic news article we note the latest report on grants agreed under the Scottish system for Regional Assistance; however, this scheme has now been closed to new entrants and we will update members on what replaces it as soon as that is announced.
We have news of two new webinars being organised by SHEP (Safety & Health Engineering Partnership) - these will cover product marking and safety around welding fumes & metalworking fluids. The meetings theme is continued with news of the Made Smarter Conference - more details in the article below.
Finally this week, there are two new work proposals from the Information Security, Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection Committee at BSI; one covers the use of smart meters and the other is around more general cybersecurity frameworks.
Until we return in February - i.e. next Friday - the MTA team wishes you a restful weekend and please stay safe.