METALL #2 ‘takes innovation to market’
Following the successful launch of the new Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Alliance (METALL) in July, the latest event, METALL #2 also received a very good response from local manufacturing, engineering and technology businesses. They joined hosts Gatwick and South Coast based accountants and tax advisers Carpenter Box, solicitors asb law and recruitment agency CBSbutler for the event at the Roffey Park Institute near Horsham.
The event gave a fascinating insight into the ways in which two very different local innovative manufacturing businesses have brought new products to market, as the attendees heard from Bruce Girvan of Horsham-based Ceres Power and Kevin Brown of Crawley-based Elekta.
Elekta and Ceres Power may be in very different fields, but both demonstrated how innovation – the seed of an idea – could be developed from conception to market. With Elekta, the case study revolved around how the MR-linac – a brand new concept in radio-therapy was developed and commissioned, and with Ceres Power, how their new fuel cell technology has come to market and is set to revolutionise perceptions around home power generation.
Elekta, with a team of around 900 at their expanding Manor Royal site in Crawley, is the world’s second largest supplier of radio-therapy equipment. Ceres Power is a relatively new company and much smaller, but has already developed a production line capable of delivering around 8 million of their fuel cells a year.
METALL #2 also heard from Professor Seamus Higson, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Chichester. Seamus updated METALL attendees on the new Engineering and Digital Technology Park on the university’s Bognor Regis Campus, where construction of a landmark building is about to commence which will open in 2018.
METALL facilitator Chris Coopey, ex-engineer and Head of the Manufacturing Group at Carpenter Box, explained: “I am delighted to report that the first two meetings of METALL have proved to be very popular with many manufacturing and engineering businesses. The audiences have been keen to listen to our speakers as well as share their own thoughts and ideas with the group. Both Bruce and Kevin provided a number of thought-provoking ideas that the audience will hopefully be able to adapt for their own businesses. It was also great news to hear from Seamus that the new Technology Park is looking to deliver 500 new science, technology, engineering and mathematics students per annum in Bognor Regis by 2021 – this is just what the sector needs!”