METALL launches with a sell-out first event

Over 30 manufacturing, engineering and technology businesses, who between them employ over 5,000 skilled people within the Gatwick Diamond, have helped launch a new association for the region’s manufacturing, engineering and technology industries.

The companies attended the first meeting of METALL (Manufacturing, Engineering & Technology Alliance) at Roffey Park, Horsham, to hear from experts in innovation. The event was hosted by Sussex and Gatwick-based chartered accountants, Carpenter Box, together with fellow sponsors asb law and recruitment agency, CBSbutler.

Keynote speakers Dr Robert Pearson of Cobham Antennas and Dr Zoe Webster of Innovate UK, each did a fantastic job of explaining what innovation looks like, how it can be achieved and how it can be funded.

The meeting discussed how ‘passion’ to solve a problem and provide a solution, when harnessed effectively can become a massive and unstoppable force. They also spoke about the power of collaboration among smaller businesses, who have the agility to develop big ideas quicker than their larger counterparts. Sources of funding for innovative ideas were also discussed, with the meeting hearing about the various signposting services available for grant funding, which can sometimes make the difference between an idea that doesn’t progress and one that does.

Chris Coopey, Head of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Group at Carpenter Box, commented:

“I was delighted with the response to this first event. The audience were keen to listen to our speakers as well as share their own thoughts and ideas with the group. Inevitably, the possible effects and challenges of Brexit were also discussed at the meeting, but the consensus was that it was far too early to predict how the sector would be affected. There were concerns about currency fluctuation, possible trade tariffs and the difficulty of finding skilled and motivated staff if restrictions on recruitment from overseas becomes a reality, but we will have to wait to see what the outcome will be. The reality is that we will have to trade our way out of whatever problems Brexit creates and in relation to that, we hope METALL can have a really positive effect.”

METALL is a forum for manufacturing, engineering and technology businesses based in Sussex and Surrey. It aims to provide a networking opportunity for these businesses and to signpost growth opportunities, whilst allowing them to discuss issues affecting their business. Over time, a strong cohort of members will build relationships between businesses, education, Local Enterprise Partnerships and local government to help business grow in efficiency and profitability.

www.metall.org.uk

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