University and City Council establish new network to support local manufacturers

30 Sep 2013 12:37:19.537

A new business network is being launched which aims to give Nottingham’s manufacturing companies a competitive advantage.

The Nottingham Manufacturing Network has been set up by Nottingham City Council and The University of Nottingham.

It will comprise local manufacturing businesses in a range of industries, who will share ideas and solutions in subjects such as production planning, procurement, quality assurance and the many other areas of interest that manufacturers are involved in on a daily basis.

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Sharing business know-how
Each month, businesses in the Nottingham Manufacturing network will have the opportunity to visit other factories, where they can exchange business know-how and best practice through question and answer sessions. The network members will also be able to develop connections with Nottingham City Council and The University of Nottingham, which will help them to access grants, loans and academic expertise.

One business which has already signed up for the Nottingham Manufacturing Network, and will host the first factory visit, is SMS Electronics based at the Beeston Business Park. The company is one of Europe's leading Electronic Manufacturing Services businesses, employing over 150 staff.

Formed in November 2002 following the management buy-out of Siemens Manufacturing Services, with over 7,000 square metres of manufacturing floor space and utilising state of the art equipment, SMS operates as both an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider.

The company manufactures equipment for the medical, industrial, scientific and communications sectors. Its products include the world’s best-selling video conferencing system, and it has also recently secured a contract to manufacture new satellite technology to track the movement of offenders in the community.

Putting Nottingham back on the global manufacturing map
SMS's Managing Director, Mark Goldby, believes that manufacturing businesses will benefit significantly from the knowledge and expertise that can be gained through the Nottingham Manufacturing Network. He said: “Sharing best practice is really important in manufacturing, because if you can do things slightly better and more efficiently, it can make a massive difference to your business and for your customers.

“Lots of manufacturers in our region are doing outstanding work, and I believe we can all learn something valuable from each other. I’m looking forward to being a part of the Nottingham Manufacturing Network and I hope that other Nottingham manufacturers also sign up to take part in it. I think that by working together, we really can improve the quality of local manufacturing, and help to put Nottingham back on the global manufacturing map.”

Funded by Nottingham City Council, the Nottingham Manufacturing Network is being established and managed by The University of Nottingham’s Business Engagement team.

A need to produce high-end products
Councillor Graham Chapman, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council explains the reasons why the Nottingham Manufacturing Network was established: “It is vitally important that we create new jobs in Nottingham. We can’t just rely on retail and other service industries, we need to produce high-end products that we can successfully sell into international markets.

“Historically, Nottingham has always been very strong and well known for its world renowned manufacturing businesses such as Boots, Raleigh and many others. There are still lots of world-class manufacturers here in the city, and this network will help them to develop and grow. Our colleges and universities also need to continue to work closely with our manufacturing businesses to provide the cutting-edge training and skills that they require for the workforce of the future.”

Mike Carr, Director of Business Engagement and Innovation Services at the University, added: “At the University, we work with many local manufacturing businesses to help improve their productivity and profitability. This new network will allow a broader range of businesses to have access to the expertise and facilities that the University has to offer.

Making manufacturers more competitive
“It’s widely acknowledged that business leaders learn directly from their peers. However, there are very few opportunities for them to meet to discuss concerns or challenges and to share best practice. The new Nottingham Manufacturing Network will also provide the environment for manufacturing specialists to exchange ideas and expertise, which will in turn make them more innovative and competitive in their markets.”

Nottingham City Council and The University of Nottingham would like to hear from businesses that want to be part of the Nottingham Manufacturing Network. For more information and to register your interest, contact Steve Upcraft at the University on 0115 846 6952, or email

— Ends —

For more information about this press release, contact Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, University of Nottingham. Tel: 0115 82 32184, or email

Photo shows, R-L: Councillor Graham Chapman, Mark Goldby MD of SMS Electronics, and apprentice Danielle Martin.

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news

Story credits

For more information, please contact Steve Upcraft, Ingenuity Business Network Manager, University of Nottingham on 0115 846 6952, or email
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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