BAE Systems, Made in Britain, Make UK, sustainability, industrialising innovation and the youth skills gap take centre stage at Subcon this year

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Subcon agenda highlights

  •  Make UK CEO Stephen Phipson CBE to present state of the industry address
  •  20 sessions over two streams featuring the biggest names in UK manufacturing and engineering
  • Sustainability, supply chain distribution and the skills gap set to dominate agenda

Make UK CEO Stephen Phipson CBE will present a state of the industry address at Subcon this September, one of many highlights of this year’s conference programme that also includes sessions on sustainability, e-vehicles, additive manufacturing, industrialising innovation, managing the cost of supply chain disruption and the skills gap, delivered by some of the UK’s leading manufacturers and engineers and its most innovative disruptors.

The 2021 Subcon conference is a three-day, two-theatre, 20-session programme showcasing cutting edge innovation and best practice from the worlds of engineering, manufacturing and supply chain management. It is free to attend for all Subcon visitors and the agenda can be viewed online at

Some of the sessions on The Engineer Expo Theatre are:
  • PrintCity story: how industry and academia are collaborating to bridge the digital skills gap, fuelling innovation in engineering and manufacturing
  • Managing the cost of supply chain disruption – globalisation, decarbonisation and innovation
  • Advancing to Industry 4.0: the 5G factory of the future
  • Additive manufacturing – moving beyond geometry for the printing of functional, multi-material product

Over in the Manufacturing Management Theatre, sessions include:
  • Normal to excellence: the simple 10 steps to achieve greatness
  • The UK’s place on the road to future mobility
  • Understanding the materials as a service market
  • Cyber security in manufacturing
Two huge themes weaving their way through both conference theatres are sustainability and the skills gap, particularly in relation to the importance of attracting and retaining young people into the sector.

Made in Britain CEO John Pearce will revel in how and why UK manufacturing growth is at a 30-year high and how future procurement will be inextricably linked to sustainability.

  • MAGWAY co-founder Phil Davies will introduce the audience to the company’s zero-emissions, low-footprint, high-capacity delivery system.
  • AEM CEO Dr James Widmer will talk about his company’s mission to create the world’s most sustainable electric powertrain.
Made in Britain CEO John Pearce: “I think there’s an awful lot of optimism around at the moment, despite all the difficult times we’re going through. Made in Britain is part of that relentless optimism about the future of British manufacturing and making things closer to where they’re actually needed rather than from the other side of the earth, which is challenging for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is the carbon footprint of products coming in from thousands of miles away.

“My goal [at Subcon] is to tell the story of Made in Britain. There is a fabulous, strong, interesting and meaningful story of manufacturing in Britain under the Made in Britain mark. What is the UK economy without British manufacturing? These are essential things we’re making – components, machinery and products – that are essential to human existence and the human experience.”

NMITE associate professor Dr Nadia Kourra and Markforged’s Mike Goodwin both look at how to attract the next generation of engineers into the sector and how the link between industry and academia can help to bridge the digital skills gap and increase productivity.

Notes to editors:

Taking place in-person at Birmingham’s NEC on 14 – 16 September 2021, Subcon is co-located with The Engineer Expo and - new for 2021 - Manufacturing Management Show. The UK’s leading subcontract manufacturing supply chain show comes at a pivotal time as businesses of all sizes recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and adjust to operating outside the EU.


For media information, please contact:

Charlie Le Rougetel or Bonnie Simpson at on 07736 330676