Manufacturing growth showcased at European expo

The first-ever exhibition of local design, manufacturing and innovation has taken flight to the European Parliament in Brussels this week (September 22-24) to showcase the West Midlands’ achievements to European stakeholders.

Hosted by Neena Gill MEP with the support of Birmingham City Council, the Greater Birmingham and West Midlands Brussels office partnership, and key figures such as Commissioner Lord Hill and Chairman Jerzy Buzek, the exhibition demonstrates how organisations from Birmingham and the West Midlands are working with businesses to drive innovation in the manufacturing industry.

Speaking of the exhibition titled Greater Birmingham and the West Midlands: A European home of advanced manufacturing and innovation, Neena Gill MEP said: “I’m proud to be hosting this event to show a European audience what we in the West Midlands produce locally, in order to drive jobs, investment, and growth. We’re building on our well-known industrial strengths, but also presenting a fresh perspective of what innovation and manufacturing means for us in 2015 and beyond through these high tech, innovative displays.

“I’m so pleased to have planned this event alongside friends and colleagues in these important regional institutions, and to be welcoming such high level speakers, as it’s important that other countries recognise our region’s achievements.”

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council commented: “I am delighted that the Greater Birmingham and West Midlands Brussels office partnership is able to profile some of the expertise we have in the fields of product design, advanced manufacturing, and innovation to the European Parliament. The Midlands is a true engine for growth at the heart of the UK and Europe with manufacturing accounting for 13.9 per cent of the region’s output, well above the UK average.”

Keynote speaker, Chairman Jerzy Buzek, commented: “From biotechnology to photonics, and 3D printing, exhibitions like this are important to show how local organisations are contributing to the EU’s 2020 smart and sustainable growth goals.”

Keynote speaker Commissioner Lord Hill said: “The exhibition is not only about celebrating manufacturing and innovation, but looking at how these talents are a bedrock for the region’s economy, growing alongside the region’s swiftly developing financial services sector.”

Exhibitors include; the University of Birmingham, the University of Warwick, Aston University, Birmingham City University (BCU), the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Birmingham City Council and Climate KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) who are all partners of the Greater Birmingham and West Midlands Brussels office.

The visual centrepiece of the event is BCU’s Birmingham Made Me initiative, showcasing iconic products originating from Birmingham and the West Midlands including Pashley cycles, an AGA Rangemaster door, 3D printed jewellery prototypes from Weston Beamor, ACME whistles, Brooks saddles and a Westfield sports car nose cone.

Get involved with the event on Twitter and see photos via the hashtag #westMIDexpo


For further information please contact:

Hannah Twist
0121 622 2165

Notes to editors:

• Between 2003 and 2013, nearly half of all West Midlands exports by value went to EU countries.
• Almost £400 million of European funding aimed at boosting local businesses is available for the West Midlands – the latest round of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) enables LEPs in the region to distribute the capital to companies on their patches in need of a financial boost to support their growth plans.
• The 2007-2013 round of ERDF created 14,345 jobs across the West Midlands from £324 million of funding.

Neena Gill

• Ms Neena Gill is current Labour Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands, UK. She is full member of the Committee for Economic and Monetary Affairs, and substitute for the Committee of Foreign Affairs. Ms Gill is also First Vice-President to the Delegation for Relations with India, and a member of the Delegation to the US.
• This is Neena’s third term as MEP for the area, having previously served from 1999-2009.
• Prior to becoming an MEP, she was a CEO of two housing organisations. She also graduated in Social Sciences, has a post-graduate professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Housing, and is an alumnus of the London Business School.

Sir Albert Bore

• Sir Albert Bore is leader of Birmingham City Council
• Committee Membership 2015-2016: Council Business Management Committee, General Assembly of the Local Government Association, West Midlands Joint Committee.

Jerzy Buzek

• Prime Minister of Poland from 1997 – 2001, and has been a Member of the European Parliament since June 2004.
• Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)
• President of the European Parliament between 2009 – 2012.

Commissioner Lord Jonathan Hill

• A British Conservative politician who since 1 November 2014 serves as a European Commissioner.
• European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union


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