Listen to the voice of your digital future at local event


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In Summary

General | 25th November 2022
A global pioneer in digital technology and artificial intelligence is the headline speaker at an event which will highlight the importance of boosting the region’s advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors through adopting digital technology.

In Detail

Inma Martinez is among industry experts speaking at The Supply Chain Digital Transformation: Driving Transport Technology event, which has been organised by FinditinCW, part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, on behalf of the West Midlands Made Smarter programme, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and the wider West Midlands Growth Hubs.

She will present a fascinating and inspirational talk about the future of the automotive industry and how businesses can use AI to fix complex problems and drive their innovation.

Inma is an advisor to leaders in business and government on how to turn digital transformation into a competitive advantage and contribute to society’s progress.

She is one of the most sought-after experts in forecasting digital disruptions and revealing the potential of AI and other transformative technologies and is Chair of the multi-stakeholder Expert Group and Co-Chair of the steering committee at the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, the G7/OECD global agency for the development and cooperation on AI.

She will be joined on stage at the event, which takes place on Wednesday 30 November at Aston Villa Football Club, by Dr Jamie Elliott, Innovation Lead for the WMCA who will discuss how the Made Smarter programme is driving growth among UK makers to advance the region’s economy.

He said: “Last year’s pilot of the West Midlands Made Smarter Programme proved the need for directed consultancy and support for manufacturers who wanted to increase productivity and compete more effectively through the digitisation of their systems and processes.

“The government has recognised the success of the programme and has pledged a further £2.3 million per annum for the next three years.

“We are building on our region’s manufacturing heritage with the latest technologies to ensure that the West Midlands becomes a globally recognised region of manufacturing excellence.”

Rachel Eade MBE, Supply Chain Lead for Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education, who will also be speaking, added: “The transport sector has a number of immediate challenges and opportunities including the widescale adoption of and need for innovation in digitisation in product, processes, manufacturing, communications and maintenance.

“This event will highlight a number of these across all the transport sectors and enable you to connect with advisors to support your business action planning.”

Charlotte Horobin, Region Director, Make UK, added: “If we want to turbo charge economic growth and put British industry at the forefront of modern technology, it is critical that we prioritise the take up of digital and AI adoption across every factory in the UK.

“The highly successful Made Smarter programme provides SME manufacturers with effective end-to-end business growth and technology advice, and easy access to funding that supports Industrial Digital Technologies investments such as robotics and automation combined with ongoing help in getting the best out of any new technology through leadership and skills training.”

Also speaking at the event, which will be compered by Dave Sharpe, is Mark White, Technical Director for Alumobility, and former Chief Technical Specialist - Light Weight Vehicle Structures, for Jaguar Land Rover, and Nick Mallinson, Director of Business & Innovation at the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO), who will speak about how the BCIMO is helping to shape and accelerate the transport technologies and supply chains of the future.

Craig Humphrey, Managing Director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said this was a fantastic opportunity for manufacturing and engineering businesses throughout the region to find out more about increasing their competitiveness, upscaling production and improving productivity through digital technology.

He said: “This event is very much focused on inspiring SMEs and helping delegates understand, through the experiences of these industry experts, how their business could benefit from adopting cutting-edge technologies.”

Made Smarter West Midlands’ role is to help SMEs identify the right digital tools and how they can use them to make every day improvements to their business. The whole team will be available on the day to discuss how businesses can register on the programme, and gain access to potential grant funding, workshops, and leadership training.

Midland Metro Alliance, who are planning, design and construction specialists building a number of new tram extensions on behalf of Transport for West Midlands, together with highway, aviation and defence infrastructure contractors, Colas, are headlining the Meet the Buyer session, to build long-term relationships with suppliers ranging from rail equipment to traffic management products and steel manufacturing to engineering.

Innovative West Midlands suppliers can advance book a one-to-one appointment with the buyers.