SMAS National Manufacturing Conference – Making Scotland’s Future – Tuesday 26th May, EICC, Edinburgh

2020 is a watershed moment for Scottish manufacturing as we embark on achieving a restructuring of the economy towards high value manufacturing. We recognise that to be a resilient and prosperous economy, we need to do more to industrialise our fantastic research capacity, grow the manufacturing base and support it to become more productive.  

The creation of the industry-led £65m NationalManufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) sits at the centre of the new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland, turning the country into a global leader in advanced manufacturing and a magnet for investment.

Following the announcement that French tyre firm Michelin would close its plant in Dundee, the Scottish Government announced a £60m funding commitment in November to turn the site into the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP). This ambitious joint venture between Michelin, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise will be a focal point for clean transport and low carbon energy, which fits with the ScottishGovernment’s plan to re-engineer Scotland’s economy to be net zero emission by 2045 – five years sooner than the rest of the UK.  

Added to that significant investment, is the soon to be announced Advanced Manufacturing Challenge Fund initiatives, which will create a national network of regional bases to stimulate and improve the innovation performance of SMEs in Scotland. Designed to complement NMIS by providing local access to support and services, these initiatives will ensure the manufacturing sector is positioned to fully capitalise on advancing manufacturing opportunities.  

Exciting times indeed for Scottish manufacturing and to support this raised ambition, the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) National Manufacturing Conference – Making Scotland’s Future – returns in 2020, bigger, better and bolder than ever before.  

A move to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre allows us to welcome a much larger audience of 600, drawn from across Scotland’s manufacturing community and beyond to attend the only event of its kind in Scotland.  

Along with a shift in venue, is a refreshed format. There will still be the ‘must haves’ from previous years that we know delegates value - but 2020 will introduce a new flexible agenda which will allow attendees to build their own programme for the day ensuring a tailored conference experience.  

A dynamic, state of the art technology showcase will display and demonstrate a wide range of digital technologies that can transform manufacturing. Industry led workshops, clinics, think tanks and innovation theatres will run throughout the day to help delegates learn , share, debate and network. A learning zone will help navigate the wealth of support that’s available to help businesses become more productive.

Along with the practical, we also have the inspirational and insightful. We’re delighted to welcome keynote speakers Henrik von Scheel and Indy Johar to the conference main stage. Henrik is best known as the originator ofIndustry 4.0 and named as one of the leading authorities on strategy and competitiveness by the Financial Times. Indy Johar is a founding director of Dark Matter Labs. An architect by training and visitingProfessor at the University of Sheffield – Indy’s in high demand as a thought leader in how to transition society to a technology revolution. I’m certain both speakers will be extremely thought provoking and leave you with much food for thought.  

The day will be rounded off with a drinks reception, sponsored by the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc, when the First Minister’s Award for Manufacturing Excellence will be announced. This inaugural Award celebrates competitive and innovative Scottish manufacturing companies who champion fair work and inclusivity and invest in the skills and wellbeing of their employees. The competition is open to Scottish manufacturing companies across the supply chain and further information and the application form can be found on – It could be your organisation collecting this prestigious award from the First Minister in front of your industry peers on the 26th May!  

Putting on an event of this scale would be difficult without the financial support of our sponsors. We are delighted to welcome back long-term supporter of the SMAS conference, the Bank of Scotland as our Gold sponsor.  Investment is a key theme of the conference and a large part of the day will be dedicated to helping the manufacturing sector navigate the funding landscape.    

OurSilver sponsor is the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) and newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Jardine will deliver a keynote on how NMIS will support the sector going forward.    

We are thrilled that global engineering solutions company Booth Welsh has joined us as Bronze sponsor. We thank them all for their support.  

Helping spread the word about Scotland’s growing resurgence in manufacturing excellence is hugely important and we thank the Manufacturing Magazine for agreeing to join us a media partner for the conference. There will be no shortage of content for the magazine’s editor to write about when it comes to manufacturing in Scotland!

As I said earlier, an exciting year lies ahead for Scottish manufacturing. The SMAS conference is a key event in the manufacturing calendar and an important platform to continue to build momentum , shine a light on a flourishing manufacturing sector and showcase the integrated network of support that businesses can now leverage both from the public and private sector.

To find out more and book your place, click register At £200plus VAT for a ticket, it represents fantastic value for money, and I look forward to welcoming you on the day to learn, share, debate and network.


Nick Shields

SMAS Director.

Join Us

At Scotland's largest manufacturing conference

£200 + VAT