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Record attendance at Advanced Engineering UK 2013

20th November 2013
Nat Bowers

Comprised of Aero Engineering Show 2013, Composites Engineering Show 2013, Automotive Engineering Show 2013, Auto Electronics 2013 and Printable Electronics for Industry, the Advanced Engineering UK 2013 group of events was held at NEC Birmingham last week. On Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th November 2013, multiple sectors within the UK’s advanced engineering and high value manufacturing community converged in record numbers.

This year’s ‘Advanced Engineering UK group of events’ had a record total attendance of 12,000 from all tiers and parts of the advanced engineering supply chain. The 2013 show again achieved impressive year-on-year growth of 30% from the previous year.

The Advanced Engineering UK 2013 group of events is already considered one of Europe’s most important annual advanced engineering sector showcases for technology innovation, processes and industry supply chain capability. It brings together five interlinked shows representing priority UK high value engineering and technology sectors, and combining to create a hugely exciting integrated UK technology transfer and business development opportunity.

Ian Stone, Managing Director of show organisers UK Tech Events, commented: “With UK industry more upbeat than ever about growth opportunities in these high value industries, supported by the continuing prioritisation from industry, government and academia, the co-locating events have rapidly become a ‘must attend’ annual calendar fixture given their unique concentration of multiple high value, high skilled and high intensity engineering sectors under one common roof. These key sectors are the vanguard for delivering UK ambitions to rebalance the economy and represent already outstanding examples of where the UK is striving to take an international lead, reflecting its unique and comprehensive value chain capability and competitiveness.”

With a record 650 specialist exhibiting organisations, attendees were spoilt for choice with the diversity of technology, capability and engineering services on display this year. Providing engineering technology, equipment, components and specialist services, exhibitors demonstrated advanced materials, digital engineering solutions, design, testing, manufacturing supply chain partners, specialist sub-contractors and more.

This year also saw the most ambitious free-to-attend open conference programme since the inception of the event in 2008. With standing room only for many of the sessions, this year’s open conference programme was a resounding success. For a total of 60 hours, more than 200 expert speakers contributed high quality industry supply chain intelligence, insight into latest research, industry case studies, and latest technology and process innovations.

“Programmes provide a vital opportunity to both keep up with the very latest ‘intel’ from within each individual sector stream and at the same time provide a useful opportunity to look over the shoulder of adjacent high value engineering sectors and see how they are responding to the current technical and industrial challenges. Dedicated aerospace, composites, automotive and electronics sessions, were this year supplemented with a host of general sessions addressing such key areas as Regional Initiatives for advanced engineering growth, Quality management, Intellectual Property, Recruitment strategy, R&D Tax Breaks and much more,” comments Dr Neil Calder, Conference Director for the parallel speaker programmes.

Leading industry associations, technical and industry bodies plus centres of excellence contributed to this year’s Open Conference programmes, including High Value Manufacturing Catapult, ADS, AMRC , NetComposites, EEF, CompositesUK,  National Composites Centre,  North West Aerospace Alliance, UK Aerodynamics Centre, Composites Skills Alliance,  UKTI, WMG, Aerospace Growth Partnership, GTMA , Royal Aeronautical Society, RAPRA, Industry Wales, Aluminium Federation,  Technology Strategy Board , Motorsport Industry Assoc, Composites Leadership Forum, Niche Vehicle Network, EPSRC CIMComp, NGCC,  MIRA, IDTechX, Black Country LEP, Electronics Technology Network, Engineering Integrity Society, Plastic Electronics Leadership Group, Materials KTN, BiNDT, Electronics Systems Community Leadership Council, Centre for Process Innovation, Performance Review Institute ..and more.

This year’s headline OEM and Tier 1 contributions came from Jaguar Land Rover, GKN Aerospace, Safran Group’s Messier-Bugatti-Dowty and Briggs Automotive Company - ranging from A350 XWB and B787 Dreamliner main landing gear, Jaguar F-Type and latest Range Rover vehicles, Airbus A350 carbon fibre rear wing spar section, and the BAC Mono - UK built single seater road legal production car.Other featured exhibits included Axon Automotive’s ultra-light energy efficient car & composite chassis, the Microcab H2EV hydrogen fuel cell electric hybrid vehicle, the Ariel Atom titanium chassis, the PulseR microlight aircraft, the WorldFirst Formula 3 sustainable racing car, and the new 85 Sport rigid inflatable boat from Scorpion RIBs. Printable Electronics technologies were also strongly represented with a feature presence of multiple demonstrations of industry applications in this breakthrough technology stream.

Hosted by High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the ‘advanced engineering in action’ display was the centrepiece of this year’s integrated show floor. It included the full scale Bloodhound SuperSonic Car from Bloodhound SSC, the Eurojet EJ200 jet engine from Rolls Royce, the ELECTROFLIGHT high performance, battery powered, electric aeroplane and the Drayson B12/69/EV world electric land speed record car.

Again held in Hall 5, NEC Birmingham, the dates for next years show have been confirmed as 11th & 12th November 2014. Plans will shortly be announced for further development of the ‘group of events’ portfolio.

“The UK has established a significant global position in high value engineering and manufacturing, which it can now further strengthen. The complex interweaving of commercial companies, industry bodies, government, academia and supply chain communities requires channels and opportunities for communication and collaboration. This key annual ‘group of events’ will continue to provide a vital ‘one stop shop’ where interlinked advanced engineering sectors can do business through networking, sourcing capability, transferring technology and best practice,” concludes Stone.

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