23 January 2014 - 25 January 2014

The future of manufacturing: is 'reshoring' the new name of the game?

Chair: Mr Terry Morgan CBE

Amid the continuing winter deluge in the UK, Ditchley looked for the first time specifically at the prospects for manufacturing, with an initial focus on whether the basis of decisions on where to locate production facilities was changing again.  We had assembled a diverse group of experts and practitioners from around the world, and had a correspondingly lively debate. But there was a significant degree of consensus about many points, helped by deft chairmanship.

We were agreed that, while some re-shoring was happening, reflecting for example rising costs in emerging economies, as well as concerns about quality and ability to innovate, it was so far a trickle not a flood. Decisions on production locations were in fact shifting about in all directions, reflecting the globalisation of supply chains and changing economic conditions in different countries, although once made such decisions were increasingly unlikely to be revisited in the short-term. Labour costs were only a small part of the calculation by companies about where to locate a particular operation, except for some low-end products like textiles, shoes and toys, with many other factors involved. Re-shoring was in any case far from the most interesting thing happening in manufacturing. While governments might worry about where companies set up from a political, national point of view, and therefore about re-shoring, companies themselves were not interested in this angle. The need to be close to the customer might drive some re-shoring, but this worked in all directions: if manufacturing was moving to where the people were, the shift to emerging economies would continue overall. The one place not likely to join this trend for now was Africa, where conditions for high-level manufacturing were still not there.

What should governments do in these circumstances, in both developed and emerging economies? They all wanted manufacturing investment, and all wanted their companies to be moving up the value chain. But expectations from governments should not be excessive. They could help create the right overall economic conditions for manufacturing, including, crucially, education and skills, and help specifically in areas like SMEs, innovation, new technologies in a pre-commercial stage, and promotion of international free trade. They could also be counterproductive if they tried to pick winners in the old-fashioned way, or favoured protectionist or non-competitive approaches. Would manufacturing actually produce the future well-paid jobs governments were hoping for, given increased automation etc? Views were divided, but there were hopes that design, maintenance, and associated service jobs could make up for less people on the shop floor.

It was hard to be confident of the detail of future manufacturing trends, but the speed of technological change, eg 3-D printing, and increasing complexity of all kinds were seen to be driving a new paradigm of smaller-scale, more personalised, more adaptable manufacturing. The factories of tomorrow would be very different from those of today. The prospects were exciting but challenging. Good local, national and international networks would be needed for success, as part of an overall industrial eco-system where strong local clusters would be well plugged into the global market and production system. Sustainability would be increasingly essential, as raw materials became scarcer and more expensive. Companies would need to take control of the whole cycle of their products, supporting their customers throughout, including re-manufacturing at the end. The race would be to the agile, adaptable, innovative and clever, with good access to the new skills required.

Meanwhile, there was still a major selling job to do to convince the new generations of the genuinely exciting prospects for manufacturing, and of the need for them to develop the skills to contribute to this. A new website was proposed to help this task forward.

The importance of manufacturing
For the participants in this conference, the importance of manufacturing for the future, and for the health of any national economy, was seen as more or less self-evident. Without manufacturing, countries were not in touch with the essential objects and innovations which made their economies and societies work, and were therefore bound in the end to fall behind. Most governments now seemed to accept this. But there was also a recognition that this perception was still not a given for all parts of the population, particularly the young. We came back to this at the end of the conference.

The future location of manufacturing and “re-shoring”
There was a general recognition that re-shoring, in other words the shifting of some production to developed countries, was a real phenomenon, not just a media invention (although the ‘re-’ part of the concept was not always entirely appropriate, since the manufacturing operation in question had not always existed before).  For example, the US share of global manufacturing had gone up in 2012, for the first time for many years, and around 20% of British companies were thinking of some re-shoring, more for quality than cost reasons.

At the same time there was a near consensus that re-shoring had been hyped in the media, that it was still too soon to conclude that it was a major trend (the evidence was mostly anecdotal so far), and that there were more important and interesting things happening in the world of manufacturing. It was pointed out that, even when manufacturing was moving from emerging economies, it was often either going to other emerging economies, or for example to eastern Europe, not the main western countries. Moreover, the location of where something was produced/finally assembled was not the most important aspect of manufacturing in any case. Official statistics were telling us increasingly little about what was actually going on, and where the value in modern products was being created. For example companies could make a good living simply licensing others to produce with their technology, without ever making anything themselves.

The broad point was that the normal forces of economics applied to manufacturing as much as to any other activity. Labour and related costs were going up sharply in some emerging economies, not least China, both because of the need to distribute more of the rewards to more of the population through rising wages, and because of inflation and currency changes. While the wage differential remained large in most cases, this would inevitably begin to affect some investment decisions, especially if overall costs in developed countries were meanwhile static or even falling, and since, for example, energy costs in the US were dropping significantly because of shale energy.  However immediate labour costs were only one factor among many in investment location decisions, and were only likely to be decisive in highly labour intensive and relatively easily mobile industries, such as low-end textiles, shoes and toys.  In such cases, production could and did shift globally at some speed, but only to other emerging economies with cheaper labour, not back to the developed world.

For the generality of manufacturing, the economic considerations behind investment decisions were multiple and complex. Factors to be weighed as well as labour costs in considering location included some or all of the following, in no particular order:

  • closeness to the market
  • good local component and resource suppliers
  • productivity levels of labour
  • political risk
  • the overall economic environment (including tax and regulations)
  • planning constraints and housing availability
  • energy and other basic costs
  • pensions and healthcare standards
  • availability of good financial and insurance services
  • rule of law and ethics
  • quality control
  • a culture of innovation
  • access to good infrastructure and logistics 
  • IPR protection
  • the availability of the necessary skills
  • resilience of supply chains.

While governments and politicians keen to see manufacturing flourish in their developed countries might be very interested in the idea of re-shoring, from their national standpoint, the same did not apply to companies themselves, who were more interested in making sensible and profitable investment decisions on the basis of the facts, and being strategic more than tactical, i.e. thinking for the long term. They did not always do this, of course, and some investment decisions could be seen as poorly-informed. In any case the need to take decisions on broad grounds would not, and did not, stop companies playing the PR card of re-shoring themselves when it suited them in particular markets –‘made at home’ remained an attractive slogan for many consumers. But it was not what drove their decisions.

There were nevertheless some factors beyond rising labour and other costs which could militate in favour of re-shoring. Closeness to the customer could be one of these, where the main market itself was in the developed world. Short, flexible supply chains, able to adapt quickly to changing customer demands and less vulnerable to events or natural disasters on the other side of the world, could be a real advantage. Diversity of sources of supply and locations of production was also part of strategic resilience for larger companies. Quality could sometimes be more easily ensured closer to the company home base, particularly where a new product or process was concerned. Outsourcing manufacturing to a developing country was much more straightforward with mature products and processes. In some cases the high-end skills needed might be more easily available in the developed economy. Developed economies were also more likely in some areas to spawn innovative products, and IPR protection could be easier. Labour costs were obviously less important for production of low volume, high tech, high value items.

But even these considerations should not be exaggerated. For example, if closeness to the market was increasingly important, most production would still flow to where the biggest markets were, predominantly in Asia, rather than staying in, or returning to, the developed countries. The overall movement was anyway still in that ‘off-shoring’ direction for now, even if the re-shoring phenomenon meant that traffic was no longer exclusively one-way. This was only logical, and indeed could be seen as a natural rebalancing back to the normal order of things: until the industrial revolution got under way in Europe, most manufacturing (80% or so) had been in the big countries outside Europe and the US, notably China and India. During the industrial revolution, the balance had shifted to the developed countries to the extent of 75% of all manufacturing production.  We were now somewhere around 50-50, which suggested there was still a significant way to go if we believed manufacturing location in general would over time largely reflect population distribution.

Moreover, labour productivity in emerging economies was rising, while companies in these countries were also seeking to automate more and move up the value chain. So simple labour cost comparisons only ever captured part of the reality. Companies in emerging markets were also often seeking to invest in developed markets, either for market share, or access to new technology and skills. Again the picture was significantly more complex than might appear at first sight.

One specific point we looked at was how far Africa might take off as a manufacturing base in the foreseeable future. Participants were highly sceptical, with the exception of South Africa and some coastal areas for low value products. African countries still lacked the infrastructure, skills and good governance to compete for at least 10 more years. Other emerging markets such as China, India or Thailand might be better placed to develop African potential than developed countries.

What made manufacturing “stick” in a particular location, once it had started there? As with investment decisions, it was inevitably a combination of many things. But the presence of a good local eco-system of knowledge and suppliers had to be a key part of it. Often a much smaller area than a country was the key unit, whether a region or a city. It was sometimes surprising how long a particular industry stayed in a particular location, even when the original reasons for it being there had long gone – inertia could be a powerful force.

Overall we saw a lot of movement in the location of manufacturing as supply chains became increasingly global, and companies internationalised. It was a mistake to try to identify one particular trend out of this cacophony, and claim it was the dominant one, or to think too much in nation state terms.

Government policies
This led us on to what governments could and should be doing to attract manufacturing investment, and how important their role could be. Again, we drew a distinction between companies, who were for the most part not really interested in national considerations and just wanted an level international playing field overall, and the benefits of overall global prosperity, on the one hand; and national governments on the other. The latter were bound to take an interest above all in the jobs and prosperity available to their own population, and would always struggle to take a more global view. Virtually all national governments were bound to want to attract/retain manufacturing since they saw it as an essential provider of good quality jobs, as well as both a source of vital innovation and skills, and a consumer of them.

There was no doubt either that virtually all governments had some kind of policy or strategy to favour manufacturing industry in their own country. Some governments preferred not to admit this, because of the ideological connotations from the past of the words “industrial policy”. But they still had one. For example, the US government exercised great influence on industry not only through its defence budget, but also through its efforts to favour SMEs. Virtually all governments were also competing to attract inward investment, since they saw this as an important source of jobs and technology.

While we talked mainly about national governments, we also recognised that, once again, the nation state was far from always the appropriate context in which to think about manufacturing. Local and regional governments were often more important players, and closer to the companies they were trying to help. Some at the local level had a tendency to focus too much on preserving existing jobs and companies, but others were well aware of the need for innovation and creation.

We were agreed that the single most important thing that governments could do was to ensure that the overall economic environment was favourable for manufacturing, not only through helpful tax and regulatory regimes, but also for example through good education policies which produced the right mix of skills. We noted in passing that supplying large numbers of engineers might not be enough, if the overall political/social culture did not also promote/favour innovation. Encouragement and help for science and for R&D in general were clearly important.

There were other useful things governments could do. One obvious area was promotion of free and fair international trade, covering non-tariff barriers as well as tariffs. Manufacturing was likely to be increasingly international in character as complex global supply chains became even more the norm than now, but this would not be possible unless global trade remained open, and indeed became progressively more so. On the whole we did not see a high likelihood of a reversion to protectionism, either on a regional or national basis, but this could not be taken for granted. The risks to future manufacturing if protectionism did spread again would certainly be very high.

Governments could also be helpful in providing well-targeted financial and other support for innovation, particularly in priming high-tech sectors where the market was not yet able to take up the challenge. It was reasonable to help SMEs in general, since they were the ones likely to lack skills/help in key areas, and also the ones most likely to provide the jobs of the future. Public procurement could be used more proactively and imaginatively. Other useful tools for governments included active use of their convening power to promote and foster partnerships and networks.

We recognised in all this that governments were often clumsy and ineffective in their attempts to help. Too much should not be expected of them. We continued to see little merit in governments trying to pick winners, particularly individual companies, and hoped that emerging economies had learned the right lessons from the previous mistakes of governments in developed economies, including in the encouragement of a thriving and competitive private sector, rather than favouring State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), for example by helping them entrench monopolistic positions. Such policies would inevitably prove counter-productive in the long run, like protectionism.

Could governments create or help the creation of clusters of companies and suppliers which were often seen as a key to success? Most thought this was difficult to achieve, though there could be some help at the margins. The one key local ingredient there needed to be at the beginning for effective clusters to grow and stick around was some kind of serious knowledge base, in the shape of a university, college or existing manufacturing skill resource.

One question behind all this was whether manufacturing was indeed going to provide the hoped-for good quality jobs in the future. Here views, and the evidence, seemed mixed. On the one hand we heard a lot about the current acute shortages of skilled production and maintenance engineers in many countries around the world. On the other, we were told that, as new technologies came on stream and automation increased, while there would be a demand for highly-skilled IT-literate designers and engineers, and for some low-level service workers to help workplaces function, there would be much less need for well-paid workers in between. Manufacturing could in this sense mirror the future development of developed economies as a whole, with a gap where middle level roles used to exist opening up between the top few and the bottom many, largely in low-paid service jobs. As in agriculture, manufacturing employment might fall over time to only 2% of the population.

Several participants suggested that this kind of view might well be too gloomy. There would be a continuing need not only for plenty of engineers, IT and mechanical, to maintain the machinery, but also for humans to work alongside the robots in new complementary ways, and for lots of people in the design, marketing and associated services areas. The overall impact might therefore be nearer neutral in jobs terms.

What will the manufacturing of the future look like?
Much of our brainstorming was around this apparently simple question. There were no straightforward answers, but we at least had a consensus that manufacturing in the not very distant future would look very different from now, and that we were at the beginning of, or perhaps even somewhere in the middle of, a paradigm shift – moving into a “Second Machine Age”, as it had been christened by some. Overall manufacturing had been shifting for some time, from a linear process in one place to convert raw materials into a commodity product, to the distributed assembly of globally-supplied components for delivery to exacting customers. Local, national and international networks were increasingly vital, and the presence of an overall conducive eco-system, embracing everything from initial R&D to servicing and remanufacturing, was also key. There was already a fascinating and in some ways paradoxical mix of the global and the local, which could fragment even further in this way in the future. Meanwhile brains and talent, particularly in ICT, were and would be the fundamental requirements, not labour.

Within this, the trends, driven by extraordinary rapid technological advances, and increasing complexity of all kinds, were towards some or all of the following, again in no particular order:

  • small-scale manufacturing facilities, including in urban or suburban locations
  • much more automation, as much for quality as to avoid labour costs
  • “smart” factories, including digital modelling and simulation capability
  • multiple products from the same, rapidly reprogrammable machines
  • more local, customised, personalised production, ordered and delivered quickly
  • more use of new materials
  • increasing importance of biotechnology of various kinds
  • greater use of big data
  • reduced energy intensity
  • even more dependence on local clusters of skills and technology
  • more emphasis on customer solutions, with the manufactured product itself as only one small part of the overall service offered
  • much greater emphasis on sustainability, through “closed cycle solutions”, remanufacturing and the like

One specific technology which attracted some discussion was additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing. Some thought this would revolutionise manufacturing as a whole, through the ability to programme such machines to produce a wide range of products on demand. Others pointed to its likely limitations – i.e. speed and cost – and suggested that it could indeed transform production for some high value items, but would still be inappropriate for others.

Sustainability was a constant theme of this part of the discussion. Future scarcity and cost of key materials would increasingly impose on companies the need to take back and re-use their own products. We might be moving to a situation where ownership became a thing of the past for many more items than now – they would be leased/rented to customers for periods of time and then be taken back to be remanufactured. This also fitted in with the trend of services associated with a product, e.g.  a Rolls Royce aero-engine, being more important and profitable than the product itself. Breakers’ yards were already a thing of the past in some countries. Some companies were already going down this ‘circular economy’ or ‘closed cycle’ route.

What would all this mean for governments and companies? It was hard to identify very specific recommendations, but it would be even more true in future than now that the race would be to the adaptable and agile, ready to move rapidly as technology and markets evolved and changed at great speed, and able to innovate and create demand for new products and services, rather than just following existing demand.  New skills would be needed, and national educational systems which could not adapt accordingly would prove a great handicap, for adults as well as children, and a disincentive to investment, including foreign investment. The new skills would be not only in engineering and IT – good lawyers, accountants and market experts who were up to speed with contemporary trends would also be vital. Design capability would be particularly essential.

Meanwhile, the big challenge for companies would be to capture maximum value from any solution provided to the customer. As already suggested, and seen in practice in examples like the Apple iPhone, this would not necessarily lie in the manufacturing process itself, still less final assembly of the product. Design and associated services throughout a product’s life would often be more important and more profitable. One problem in following all this was that current trade and other statistics were capturing little of the reality behind many products and sectors, since they focussed on specific production points, which could be highly misleading.

Would manufacturing in emerging economies develop very differently from that in developed countries? On balance we thought not. Relative convergence was more likely, as all countries sought to attract foreign investment, and emerging companies also sought to encourage automation and make the much touted move up the value chain, while investing themselves in developed markets to acquire technology, expertise and market share. But governments which sought to discriminate between domestic and foreign companies, and imposed rigid regulations in attempts to control production and markets, could find themselves losing out over time. Long-term vision might be needed, but long-term intervention in particular industries would prevent the competitive boost which was essential.

In general, the strong could well get stronger, among both countries and companies. Some thought that big system integrators would be the companies to capture future value most effectively. There was also a similar view that, while it was important to encourage SMEs, the absence of major ‘prime’ companies from a manufacturing eco-system, nationally or regionally, could mean that clusters would find it harder to form and to last. The basic strength of good companies which hired the best people and thought globally would be the most important factor in future success.

Making manufacturing more attractive
There was a consensus that the prospects for manufacturing were indeed exciting.  It would remain at the core of most economies. Without it, governments and companies would lack contact with the objects which made the world go round, and their ability to operate effectively, even in services not connected directly to manufacturing, would suffer.  However the image of manufacturing remained poor and mired in past stereotypes for many. There were already good initiatives to allow schoolchildren and others to see inside factories – and products – but these needed to be wider-scale and more imaginative. Teachers themselves should be a particular target.

One specific idea to emerge from the conference was the proposal for a new website dedicated to “Amazing Manufacturing Stories”, where material, including videos, could be placed to show how truly stimulating and creative manufacturing could be, now and in the future. Participants agreed to pursue this actively.

We recognised that our predictions for the future, even if deliberately broadly drawn, could prove as wide of the mark as such predictions usually did. But we were nevertheless confident that the speed of change, and the rise of complexity, could only increase further and that, whatever the detail, we would see major shifts in patterns of production and competitiveness in the years to come. More countries were becoming manufacturing-capable all the time. But countries’ relative positions would also continue to rise and fall, and companies would appear and disappear, probably even faster than today. Some countries might fall too far behind in the technology race. Were we likely to finish up with manufacturing location patterns matching population distribution?  That might be broadly the case, but there would always be national winners and losers.  That was where good government policies could make a difference – which might be a good theme for a future Ditchley conference.

This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.


CHAIR: Mr Terry Morgan CBE  (UK)
Chairman, Crossrail (2009-); non-executive Chairman, Manufacturing Technology Centre; non-executive Director, Department of Energy and Climate Change; non-executive Chairman, National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering; non-executive Director, Boxwood Limited; non-executive Director and Deputy Chairman, Ricardo plc (2014-). Formerly: Chief Executive, Tube Lines; Group Managing Director, Operations, BAE Systems; Group Human Resources Director, BAE Systems; Managing Director, Royal Ordnance; Managing Director (Land Rover), Rover Group; Operations Director, Rover Group; President, Chartered Management Institute.

Dr Robert Stehrer 
Staff Economist and Deputy Scientific Director, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, Vienna; Lecturer in Economics, University of Vienna.

Ms Marta Morgan 
Associate Deputy Minister, Industry Canada (2012-). Formerly: Assistant Deputy Minister, Industry Sector, Industry Canada (2011-12); Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Sector, Industry Canada (2009-11); Vice President, Trade and Competitiveness, Forest Products Association of Canada (2003-09).
Mr Jayson Myers 
President and Chief Executive, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association (CME); Chair: Canadian Manufacturing Coalition; Canadian Enterprise Network; Co-Chair: Ontario and Great Lakes Manufacturing Councils; Canadian Roundtable for Workforce Skills. Formerly: Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, CME; Research Fellow, Nuffield College, Oxford.

Dr Qu Li 
Chairman, China Ventures Ltd, Chairman; CEO, Multidrive Limited.

Dr Juergen Friedrich 

Chief Executive, Germany Trade and Invest, Berlin (2009-). Formerly: Director, North Africa, Near and Middle East Division, Federal Ministry of Economics (2007-09); German Industry and Commerce Representative in the UAE, Oman and Qatar, Dubai (2000-07); Economic Policy Expert, Office of the Representative of German Industry and Trade, Washington DC (on secondment from the Federal Ministry of Economics); Deputy Head of Energy Policy Division, Federal Ministry of Economics (1988-97).

Dr Pippa Malmgren 
President and Founder, Principalis, London; a member: Council on Foreign Relations, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Institute for International Strategic Research, National Association of Business Economists, Business Institute of Directors; guest contributor: Today Programme and Newsnight, BBC; guest anchor, Squawk Box and Bloomberg, CNBC. Formerly: a member, President's Working Group on Financial Markets, President's Working Group on Corporate Governance and Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, National Economic Council (George W. Bush Administration); President, Malmgren and Company, London; Deputy Head, Global Investment Strategy, UBS Warburg, London; Chief Currency Strategist, Bankers Trust Company; Head, Global Asset Management, Bankers Trust, Hong Kong; Trade Policy Specialist, Trade Policy Research Centre, London and OECD, Paris. Advisory board member, MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship; a Governor, a member of the Council of Management and of the Business Committee, The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Jun Arima 
Director General, Japan External Trade Organisation, London (on secondment from Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). Formerly: Japan's Chief Negotiator, UN Climate Talks, Cancun, Mexico (2010); Head of Division, Country Studies, Long-Term Co-operation and Policy Analysis, International Energy Agency, Paris (2002-06); Councillor (Energy) to Permanent Delegation of Japan, OECD; Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Tokyo.

Dr Henrikas Mykolaitis 
Vice President and Executive Director, LINPRA - Engineering Industries Association of Lithuania (2005-); member, High Level Group and National Coordinator, ETP ManuFuture (2006-); member, Board of Directors, ORGALIME (2013-). Formerly: Division Director, AB 'Lietuvos Telekomas' (national telecoms company) (1997-2004); Deputy Director, Telecoms Regulatory Agency (1992-97); Researcher (basic research and R&D in fluctuation phenomena in magnetic materials), Vilnius University (1975-92).

Mr Louis Kuijs
Chief Economist, Greater China, Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Hong Kong (2012-). Formerly: Senior Economist positions, Fung Global Institute, Hong Kong (2011-12), MF Global, Hong Kong (2011), World Bank, Beijing (2004-11); IMF, Washington DC (1997-2004); Oxford Economics, Oxford (1994-97).
Professor Dr Egbert-Jan Sol 
Executive Director, High-Tech Systems and Materials, TNO, Eindhoven (2011-); Chief Technology Officer, TNO Science and Industry (2004-); a member, High Level Group, Manufuture; Vice-Chairman, European Factories of the Future Association; Professor of Research Management, Radboud University; Chairman, Digital City Eindhoven. Formerly: Vice President Technology, Ericsson Telecommunicatie BV (1996-2003); a member, Ericsson Technology Board; Development Manager, Philips Industrial Electronics; Professor of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology; Robotics Project Manager, Corus (1990-98).

Mr Alejandro Quiroz 
Vice President, Global Advanced Manufacturing, Whirlpool Corporation; member, Manufacturing Strategy COO Council; member, University of Michigan's Industry Advisory Board for Global Operations; member, Global Manufacturing Advisory Board, CISCO. Formerly: Head of Operations, Asia, Hydraulic Brake Systems, Continental AG.

Mr Sergio Arzeni
Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises and Local Development, OECD; Head, Programme on Local Economic and Employment Development; Supervisor, OECD Tourism Committee; President, Scientific Committee for R&D and Innovation, Piedmont Region (Italy); Senior Fellow, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research, University of Essex. Formerly: Economist for the Italian Parliament, Italian Trades Unions and the European Commission.

Mr Yuki Maeda 
PR and IR Manager, Hitachi Europe Ltd.

Dr Yuan Like 
Associate Professor, Department of Foresight and Evaluation, Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development, Ministry of Science and Technology.

Mr Chang K. Kim JD
Director General for Investment, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Professor Christer Karlsson PhD
Academic Director, CBS Competitiveness Platform, Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School; Professor Emeritus, Stockholm School of Economics. Formerly: Director, Swedish Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology; Professor, European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management, Brussels; Professor, Nordic International Management Institute, Chengdu, China.

Professor Pavida Pananond 
Associate Professor of International Business, Thammasat Business School (TBS), Thammasat University, Bangkok; Visiting Fellow, Henley Business School, University of Reading; Vice President, Euro-Asia Management Studies Association (2013-); Independent Director and member of Audit Committee, Precious Shipping Public Company Ltd (2011-); member of editorial advisory board, 'Southeast Asia Research' (2009-), 'Competitiveness Review' (2014-). Formerly: Head of Department, Department of International Business, Logistics and Transport, TBS (2010-12).

Dr William Barton 
Head of Manufacturing, Technology Strategy Board; Chairman, Oxford Biotrans; Managing Director, WillB Consulting Ltd; a member, Institute of Directors. Formerly: Head of Technology, Technology Strategy Board; Interim CEO, then COO, Oxford Catalysts (now Velocys); Strategic Business Unit Vice President, Flexsys; Vice President, Manufacturing and Technology, Flexsys, Brussels; Manufacturing Director, FMC, Manchester; Manufacturing Director, ICI Resins, USA; ICI UK.
Mr Mike Baunton CBE 
Chairman, SMMT Industry Forum, London; Fellow, Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Formerly: Vice President, Caterpillar Inc. (1998-2009); SMMT President (2002-03); Chief Executive, Perkins Engines Company Ltd (1995-2002); President, Walker Manufacturing, Wisconsin (1993-95); Managing Director, Monroe Europe, Brussels (1987-93); Managing Director, Monroe Australia (1985-87); Manufacturing Director, Quinton Hazell.
Mr Chris Carr 
Deputy Director, Manufacturing, Services and Electronics, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Mr Ian Davis 
Chairman, Rolls-Royce (2013-); non-executive board member: BP, Johnson & Johnson; non-executive member, Cabinet Office Board; Senior Adviser, Apax Partners LLP. Formerly: McKinsey & Company (1979-2010): Senior Partner (2009-10); Chairman and Worldwide Managing Director (2003-09); Managing Partner, McKinsey UK and Ireland (1996-2003).
Mr Richard Elsy 
Chief Executive, High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Solihull (2012-). Formerly: Chief Executive, Torotrak plc; Product Development Director, Jaguar Cars Ltd; BMW, Munich; executive board member, Land Rover.
Dr Dougal Goodman OBE FREng 
Chief Executive, The Foundation for Science and Technology; non-executive Chairman, The Lighthill Risk Network; advisory board member, Financial Services Knowledge Transfer Network; member, Public Affairs Committee, and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering; Fellow: Institution of Civil Engineers, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, and Institute of Physics; Visiting Professor, University College London and Cranfield University. Formerly: Acting and Deputy Director, British Antarctic Survey (1995-2000); General Manager, BP (1980-95). A member of the Programme Committee, The Ditchley Foundation.
Professor Sir Mike Gregory CBE FREng
Head, Manufacturing and Management Division, Department of Engineering, and Head, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge; Chair, UK Manufacturing Professors' Forum; Member, UK Government's Analytical Group on Manufacturing. Formerly: Executive Director, Cambridge MIT Institute (2005-08); Springer Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley (2008-09).
Mr David Holmes 
Manufacturing Director, BAE Systems Military Air and Information Business Unit.
Mr Joe Manning 
Senior Policy Advisor, Cities Policy Unit, Cabinet Office.
Mr Peter Marsh 
Formerly: Manufacturing Editor, The Financial Times; Author, 'The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers, Globalization and the End of Mass Production'.
Mr Paul McCaffrey 
Project Leader, Future of Manufacturing Project, The Foresight Programme, UK Government Office for Science.
Dr Helen Meese CEng MIMechE 
Head of Engineering in Society, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London (2013-). Formerly: Project Manager, GE Energy (2012-13); Babcock International Group plc: Technical Assurance Engineer (2009-12), Senior Mechanical Engineer (2006-09).
Professor Svetan Ratchev 
Director, Institute for Advanced Manufacturing; Head, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Research Group; Director, Centre for Aerospace Manufacturing, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham; founding Chair, International Precision Assembly Seminar; UK member, IFAC technical committeesTC5.1 and TC5.2; Principal Investigator, EPSRC Cloud Manufacturing and Evolvable Assembly Systems research programmes; Director, EPSRC Manufacturing Technology Industrial Engineering Doctoral Centre.
Ms Leslie Sheppard
Chief Strategy Officer, MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation, and Founder and Chair, MIT Manufacturing Technology Advisory Board, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ms Nicola Smith 
Head of Economic and Social Affairs, Trades Union Congress.
Dr Jagjit Singh Srai FIChemE 
Head, Centre for International Manufacturing, Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. Formerly: Manufacturing and Supply Chain Director of a multinational (multiregional) operation.
The Rt Hon. David Willetts MP 
Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Havant (1992-); Minister for Universities and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2010-). Formerly: Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (2007-10); Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills (2005-07), Productivity, Energy and Industry (2005), Work and Pensions (1999-2005). A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Charles Evans 
Executive Vice President, Council on Competitiveness, Washington DC; advisory council member, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Industry; member, Advisory Board on Russian Competitiveness, World Economic Forum; Co-Chair, President Obama and President Rousseff's US-Brazil Joint Commission on Science and Technology Innovation Working Group.
Ms Melanie Hart 
Tsuchiya Co. Ltd of Nagoya, Japan (1988-): Chief Executive Officer, Tsuchiya North America; President (1994-): TASUS Corporation, Bloomington, Indiana; TASUS Texas Corporation; TASUS Alabama Corporation; TASUS Canada Inc., Hamilton, Ontario; board member, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation; council member, Deans Council, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University; board member, board member, Japan America Society of Indiana; Chair of the Board, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce; advisory board member, Old National Bank. Formerly: Mobil Oil and Chemical; Schlegel Corporation.
Mr Jerry Jasinowski 
Formerly: Founder and President (2004-07), Manufacturing Institute, Washington DC; National Association of Manufacturers, Washington DC (1981-2004): President (1990-2004), Executive Vice President and Chief Economist (1983-90); Assistant Secretary for Policy, US Department of Commerce (1977-80); board member: Timken, Harsco, Northwest Biotechnology and others.
Professor Sridhar Kota 
Herrick Professor of Engineering and Director, Manufacturing Leadership Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Formerly: Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (2009-12); founding President (2000), FlexSys Inc., Ann Arbor.
Professor Jun Ni 
Shien-Ming Wu Collegiate Professor of Manufacturing Science and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan; Director, S. M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center; Co-Director, National Science Foundation-sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems. Formerly: founding Dean, University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, Shanghai, China (2006-10); Deputy Director, National Science Foundation-sponsored Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Machining Systems, University of Michigan (2003-06); Director, National Science Foundation-sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Dimensional Measurement and Control in Manufacturing (1993-98).
Professor Harold Sirkin 
Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Chicago; Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; monthly Columnist for BusinessWeek; Co-Author, 'The US Manufacturing Renaissance: How Shifting Global Economics Are Creating an American Comeback' (Knowledge@Wharton, November 2012). Formerly: Global Leader, Operations practice, BCG.