Comms specialists get behind Engineering for Growth
A team of high-profile communications specialists have come together to get behind the Royal Academy of Engineers' recently launched Engineering for Growth campaign, aiming to demonstrate the value of engineering to the economy and society.
Above: EADS' comms vice-president Jeremy Greaves is part of the new taskforce.
As the Government seeks to rebalance the economy, the Royal Academy of Engineering has launched its Engineering for Growth campaign with activities to stimulate entrepreneurship and a report highlighting the £481bn contribution engineering makes to the UK economy, demonstrating the economic impact and societal benefits delivered by engineering whilst providing the focus for specific activities designed to drive business innovation.
The team of four advisors appointed to advise on the Academy’s external affairs committee are Sir Roland Jackson, ceo of the British Science Association, Jeremy Greaves, vice president, comms & PR for EADS, Roger Highfield, director of external affairs at the Science Museum and Lynn Shepherd, group director of comms for Oxford Instruments.
Sir John Parker GBE FREng, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering said: "Engineering for Growth is aligned with both our advocacy and operational activities. Engineering already makes up at least 28% of the UK economy and employs over 5.4 million people. It will need to play an even greater role as we rebalance and deliver growth in the economy. We will continue to highlight the huge benefits of investing in innovation and relevant skills as well running our own programmes in support of stimulating economic activity."
Dr Lesley Paterson, head of public engagement, said: "We want to capitalise on the environment we are in now, which is where you have the Government talking about a need for industrial strategy. They are listening to what our president [Sir John Parker] among others has been saying for the last two years and talking with us. The timing is perfect on this."
The comms advisors will be attending committee meetings made up of senior Academy members from a range of engineering disciplines.
Dr Paterson said: "While our members are savvy when it comes to external relations we wanted that insight offered by an outside perspective to feed into committee, as well as bringing their own networks and media advice."
Sir Roger Carr, President of the CBI, said: "The UK economy can only grow if it has the ability to turn innovative ideas into dynamic products and services. Engineering for Growth highlights the vital role engineering will need to play if we are to achieve this and maintain our place as a global economic power."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Engineering is central to building a stronger economy, which is why skills are such an important part of the Government's Industrial Strategy. Engineers contribute widely to many areas of the economy; their understanding of technology and the opportunities it brings is helping drive up competitiveness across many sectors. Engineering for Growth activities will certainly play their part in supporting our ambitions to support talent-growth in the sector.
"We strongly support the Royal Academy of Engineering's work to help young, highly-skilled engineers to develop entrepreneurial skills to take technologies to market. Small businesses are an important part of an agile economy, and having entrepreneurism as well as technical knowledge of the sector is essential to ensure success."
Engineering for Growth activities
The Academy's Engineering for Growth campaign is available from: www.engineeringforgrowth.org.uk
Later this spring the Academy will launch the Enterprise Hub, a new business resource that will see a large number of Academy Fellows mentoring new engineering and technology start-ups.
As part of the Hub's activities, the Academy aims to build on its BIS-funded Engineering Enterprise Fellowships programme, which enables entrepreneurial academics to spend a year starting a business.
The Academy also aims to build a new programme that will take 'the best of the best' early stage companies and provide them with a long term package of mentoring, training and bespoke support, as well as continuing to fund over 130 Researchers and build crucial links between industry and academia - providing the lifeblood for innovation in the UK.