Manufacturing – the vital capability for effective innovation

Professor Sir Mike Gregory, CBE, FREng, Churchill College, University of Cambridge

  • Mon 9th Jan 2017

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It is widely accepted that innovation - the realisation of new ideas in products and services - is vital for economies and societies. Innovation starts with ideas. Some of these ideas emerge from everyday activities which spark new ways of doing things. Many ideas have their roots in science and technology, for which Cambridge is reasonably well known! But ideas only become innovations when they can be delivered at prices potential users can afford. Modern manufacturing, which we define as the full cycle from understanding markets through R&D, design, production distribution and sustainability, is the vital capability which enables ideas to be realised quickly and efficiently. Professor Gregory will introduce the emerging structures and challenges of modern manufacturing and the ways we might prepare the next generation of manufacturing informed innovators.

Mike Gregory served as Head of the Manufacturing and Management Division of the University Engineering Department and of the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) until September 2015. Following an early career in industry he was the founder member of the team which established the IfM in 1998. Linking science, engineering, management and policy and integrating education, research and practice the IfM now has over 200 staff and research students and over 100 undergraduate and Masters students.

Mike Gregory's work is closely linked with industry and government and he has published in the areas of manufacturing strategy, technology management, international manufacturing and manufacturing policy. He served as Executive Director of the Cambridge MIT Institute from 2005-2008 and was Springer Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley in 2008/9. He chairs the UK Manufacturing Professors Forum, co-chairs the Manufacturing Advisory Group of the UK Government's Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), and is a member of the supervisory board of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult

He is a Fellow of Churchill College and of the Royal Academy of Engineering where he is a trustee.

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Audience comments:

“An important topic delivered in a light hearted and engaging manner. Topic is a lot more serious and vital to the UK than might have first appeared - lots of food for thought- the best sort of lecture.”

“As a new member and first time attendee, I truly enjoyed the event. Wonderful topic and very well presented.”

“A First rate lecture, lecturer and event. Most interesting Question and Answer, and speaker drinks discussions that help provide much fascinating enlightenment.”