Norwegian Trade Minister visits MTC on fact-finding mission
Date: Thursday 22 September 2016
The success of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) was showcased to a high-profile delegation from the Norwegian Trade, Industry and Fisheries Department as part of a two-day fact finding mission to the UK.
Norwegian Trade Minister Monica Mæland, deputy Trade Ministers Dilek Ayhan and Lars Jacob Hiim together with the Norwegian Ambassador to the UK Mona Juul, were in the Midlands to gain a strategic insight into the Coventry-based organisation and its partnerships with industry, academia and government.
The visit, in September, included an overview of the MTC history and operations, a tour of its state-of-the-art facilities, a presentation of a successful collaboration with Rolls-Royce, the future of additive manufacturing (3D printing) and the impact of Digitising Manufacturing.
Minister Mæland, who also met with UK Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox while in the UK, explained the motivation for the visit.
“As we are experiencing a considerable demand for testbed facilities in Norway, it was very interesting to gain insight into how the MTC co-operates with industry, academia and public authorities to develop and prove manufacturing processes and technologies,” said the Minister.
“Although there are many differences between Norwegian and British industry, we do have some common challenges and we hope to learn from the measures which the British have done to boost innovation and productivity in manufacturing. This will also be a relevant topic in our White Paper on industry and its framework conditions that we are currently working on.”
The MTC model of collaborating across industry, academia and government and its benefit to UK high value manufacturing is of increasing interest from overseas governments.
Harald Egner, EU and research partnership manager at the MTC, who co-ordinated the visit, said: “The Minister was provided with a significant insight into the MTC Innovation Ecosystem, especially the role government plays and the benefits to wider industry.
“These visits from abroad are increasing in their nature and is evidence that the MTC is playing a pivotal and successful role in inspiring UK manufacturing.”