On November 2 and 3, Advanced Engineering will return to the NEC, Birmingham for its 13th edition. Last year, over 7,000 people attended across the two days, including representatives from Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Alpine F1, Ford, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and the Ministry of Defence.
This edition of Advanced Engineering will celebrate and display innovation, growth and development within the UK’s engineering industry. Across the show’s seven zones — aerospace, composites, automotive, advanced metals, connected manufacturing, space and satellite and, new for this year, product testing and quality control, businesses will showcase their latest, ground-breaking technologies and inspire cross-industry collaboration that pushes the UK’s engineering industry to new heights.
Following the successful partnership in 2021, the show will be co-located with Lab Innovations and will be supported by over 40 media partners. Some of the world’s key industry associations, such as The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Composites UK, Make UK, UKRI, UK Space Agency, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, GAMBICA, BARA and the Department for International Trade, also feature as trade body partners, helping the show address some of the latest issues arising in our industry.
This year, there will be a new feature area for providers of certification and inspection services. Across all areas of the manufacturing supply chain, testing and quality control is an integral part of the development of products. There are already several exhibitors confirmed for this zone, including James Fisher NDT and Applied Scientific Technologies UK.
The Enabling Innovation zone will return in 2022, supporting smaller enterprises that want to accelerate and commercialise their innovation into the advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. Sponsored and judged by experts at Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovation DB, Enabling Innovation exists to showcase the UK’s brightest new talent and innovation. Ten start-ups will be selected to exhibit at this year’s exhibition, during which they will pitch their business and innovation to a live audience and a panel of judges. The winner will receive a free full-sized stand and complete marketing package at Advanced Engineering 2023.
Evangelos Zympeloudis, CEO and co-founder of iCOMAT, winner of Enabling Innovation 2019, exhibited at last year’s event as part of his prize. He said, “It's been two years since we won the Enabling Innovation competition at Advanced Engineering and the company has really grown since then. In fact, we’re four times bigger than we were back then. I’ve found Advanced Engineering to be a great show so far. There are lots of people here and it’s clear that everybody was itching to come to a live show again. We’ll definitely be returning next year — Advanced Engineering is the place to be for any business that is component- or automation- related.”
Advanced Engineering is shaping up to be a great event and it’s clear to see why so many exhibitors want to return. At last year’s exhibition, marketing manager of Qimtek, Dean Munkley said, “The show’s been really good — far busier than I expected. We’ve probably taken more leads than we have at any show over the last three years. There was a lovely mix of people and it was great speaking to anyone from students to directors. There’s such a good variety of suppliers here too — we’ll definitely be returning.”
Attendees also found the 60 hours of free learning, courtesy of the four forums scattered across the show floor, insightful and inspiring. Highlights included workshops and talks from automotive lifestyle blogger James William Walker, also known as Mr JWW, the Aerospace Technology Institute, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, ADS, the UK Space Agency, Jaguar Land Rover, Composites UK, BAE Systems Make UK and more. These four forums will return in 2022, sponsored and supported by companies including HP, University of Strathclyde, GRP Solutions, Euroresins, Cristex Composite Materials, Ripley Solutions and more.
“Over the last two years, our whole industry has learned the value of in-person interaction, both personally and professionally,” explained Alison Willis, Director at Easyfairs, the organiser of Advanced Engineering. “At last year’s event, we found that more visitors and exhibitors were attending with a purpose — whether that was to connect with a new supplier or purchase a particular piece of equipment. AE Connect, our digital platform that helps exhibitors and visitors connect and arrange meetings in advance of the show, really helped facilitate this.”
“Our industry is always innovating and releasing new technologies that are even more impressive when you see them in person. Take Advanced Engineering’s Enabling Innovation competition as an example — in-person events give start-ups like those involved in this the chance to showcase their revolutionary products to the rest of the engineering community.”