From education to employment

Leading business leaders and academics join forces with government to make manufacturing ‘smarter’

Business Secretary Greg Clark and Siemens CEO Juergen Maier will today co-chair the inaugural meeting of the Made Smarter Commission.

  • first meeting of the Made Smarter Commission includes senior members from Airbus, EEF, BAE Systems and the TUC
  • the commission will drive the boosting of productivity, create more highly-skilled jobs in the manufacturing industry
  • the meeting co-chaired by Business Secretary and Siemens CEO Professor Juergen Maier follows the Made Smarter Review in November 2017

The commission has been established to drive forward digital developments in British manufacturing to boost productivity, create more highly-skilled jobs and enable more efficient, cleaner production systems, as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

Mr Clark and Juergen Maier will be joined by 8 women and 9 men from the some of the world’s leading businesses, and trade bodies and academic institutions.

Key priorities for the first meeting include discussing the North West pilot for adoption of digital technology by manufacturers in the North West and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund bid for digital manufacturing in development which aims to bring together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time.

The commission will also discuss the how the manufacturing industry can be transformed by new techniques such as 3D printing and other innovative uses of digital technologies as well as the need for stronger and more ambitious leadership.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

Britain has a long and proud manufacturing heritage currently supporting 2.7 million jobs across the country, and through our modern Industrial Strategy we are creating opportunities for UK manufacturing to continue to grow. The increased adoption of digital technologies will bring enormous benefits potentially generating £455 billion over the next 10 years – boosting productivity, creating thousands of new highly skilled jobs and enabling more efficient, cleaner production systems.

We need strong partnership between government and industry which is exactly why we have established the Made Smarter Commission. I am proud that leading men and women from industry, business and academia are working with us to turn the ambition into a reality and enable everyone to reap the rewards.

The commission was formed following the launch of the Made Smarter Review that brought together input and recommendations from over 200 stakeholders, including companies such as Rolls Royce, GKN, IBM, and Accenture. The review had substantive input from SME’s as well as academic institutions including the University of Newcastle and the University of Cambridge.

The Made Smarter Commission is designed to oversee and take forward a plan for the sector, including how manufacturing will help realise the Grand Challenges, putting the industry at the heart of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

Stephen Phipson CBE, EEF CEO said:

As a society we face huge challenges and manufacturing is going to play an ever more key role in how we tackle them. The establishment of the commission is a bold step in harnessing the expertise right across our sector and companies right across the spectrum should applaud the government for setting it up. We look forward to helping it play a key role in helping unleash the potential of manufacturing as part of the fourth industrial revolution and a modern industrial strategy.

Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens said:

The Made Smarter Commission promises to deliver our core recommendation of driving digitalisation across UK and invigorating industrial strategy. We need now more than ever to unite business, employees and government behind a strategy that boosts industrial productivity and improves living standards We will build on our North West Pilot, and look at how we can scale our efforts up across the country. If we get this right I believe we can kick start a new industrial revolution, that puts digital tech at the centre of economic policy making.

The UK sits in top 10 largest global manufacturing economies and is the fourth largest in the EU. In 2017, manufacturing GVA totalled £186 billion, supporting 2.7 million jobs (with estimates of 5 million across the whole manufacturing value chain) and still accounts for 48% of the UK total exports of goods and services.

Commission members


  • Co-Chair: Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Co-Chair: Prof Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens UK


  • EEF: Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair
  • GSK: Regis Simard, President Pharma Supply Chain
  • GE Digital: Deborah Sherry, Chief Commercial Officer
  • Renishaw Plc: William Lee OBE, CEO
  • Royal Academy of Engineering: Dr Hayaatun Sillem, CEO
  • ICW: Margaret Wood MBE, Chair
  • Lambert Engineering: Mike Lewis, Associate Sales Director
  • Confederation of British Industry (CBI): Carolyn Fairbairn, CEO
  • ABB limited: Ian Funnell, CEO
  • Nestle UK and Ireland: Dame Fiona Kendrick, Chair and CEO
  • Rolls Royce Plc: Hamid Mughal OBE, Director for Global Manufacturing
  • TUC: Frances O’Grady, General Secretary
  • Accenture: Oliver Benzecry, Managing Director
  • Airbus UK: Katherine Bennett OBE, Senior Vice President
  • BAE Systems Plc: Nigel Whitehead CBE, Chief Technology Officer
  • AT Engine Controls: Andrea Hough OBE, Managing Director
  • Jaguar Land Rover Ltd: Grant McPherson, Executive Director (Deputy attending, Graham Jones, Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Director)

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