24 Jul 2024

Automate UK launched to champion the uptake of automation across manufacturing

Automate UK

The UK Automation Forum has recently been launched to invigorate the industry’s embrace of automation. This initiative aims to unite industry experts, end-users, policymakers, and technology suppliers under one banner.

At its core, the UK Automation Forum seeks to elevate the nation’s manufacturing sector to global prominence by advocating for widespread adoption of automation technologies. With a view to rectifying the comparatively low uptake of robotics in the UK, the Forum aspires to position the country as a leader in automation.

Backed by prominent trade associations, including Automate UK (formerly the PPMA Group), the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), Make UK, and GAMBICA, the Forum pledges to foster collaboration, emphasise the advantages of automation, dismantle barriers to adoption, and influence decision-making processes.

Mike Wilson, Chief Automation Officer at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and Chairman of the UK Automation Forum, emphasises the importance of creating a unified voice within the industry: “We are establishing a community of leading experts and businesses to ensure that every stakeholder has a platform.

“Through this collective voice, we aim to drive advancements that benefit all.”

The Forum’s agenda includes hosting live events and roundtable discussions to exchange insights on various topics. These discussions will cover crucial areas such as education, skills development, career promotion in automation, and overcoming adoption challenges for users, employees, and manufacturers.

Moreover, the Forum is committed to amplifying the voices of end-users, from multinational corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to ensure that automation equipment providers align with their evolving needs.

Influence on policymaking stands as a key objective for the Forum. Peter Williamson, CEO of Automate UK, highlights the intent to leverage collective influence to shape government policies and engage with academia and funding bodies: “Our goal is to advocate for a strategic focus on automation. We will collaborate with education providers to equip the workforce with relevant skills for the future.”

The Forum’s inaugural roundtable event, titled “Automation – how will greater adoption benefit UK PLC?”, will convene experts from various sectors to explore this critical question. By offering diverse perspectives, the panel aims to provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of automation’s potential impact on the UK’s economic landscape.