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Chicago and UK modern makers unite at IMTS 2014

Two regions with a proud manufacturing heritage will explore the latest trends driving future sector success.

This starts with UK CVB Leeds and Partners participating in the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2014 in Chicago, from Sept. 8-13.

“Many of Leeds City Region’s biggest and most innovative manufacturing companies are headquartered in the [U.S.] Midwest, and meetings are in place to further develop the existing associations and investments to fuel growth as Leeds and Partners brokers key relationships and facilitates deal-making. The U.S. is the biggest foreign direct investor to the UK, so Chicago is very significant us,” stated James Devitt, associate projects director and manufacturing proposition lead, Leeds City Region.

Both Chicago and Leeds, England, have resilient finance-led economies developed while servicing established manufacturers in their heyday, with future funding to revitalize high-tech and highly skilled advanced manufacturing and precision engineering.

The city region of Leeds has the UK’s largest concentration of manufacturing, which is valued at £7 billion, with a sales turnover of £25 billion, and it is home to 7,000 manufacturing businesses that employ 140,000. Advanced manufacturing employs nearly 50,000.

President Barack Obama announced a $320 million investment in a new Digital Manufacturing Institute to jump-start high-tech manufacturing as a core component of Chicago’s economic vision. The UK delegation has specifically targeted Chicago and the U.S. Midwest because of the similarities between the two destinations, both in terms of the core strengths and economic assets as well as the commercial challenges they face.

“The UK is the global No. 1 destination for foreign direct investment projects in Europe, and the record number brought in last year is driving economic prosperity and job creation. We’re going to the U.S. to share the immense confidence in Leeds City Region as a place to live, work and prosper, to attract a pipeline of interest in the largest concentration of manufacturing in the country and articulate a vision for future growth,” added Devitt.

Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) is working with Leeds City Region to highlight opportunities for growth.

“MTA is looking forward to helping to make the presence of the UK’s cutting-edge technology companies felt in Chicago. With a host of companies taking part in both IMTS and TRAM, the events will be a great showcase for what we can do,” said James Selka, chief executive, MTA.

The most targeted global event with 1,900 exhibitor stands, IMTS places the Leeds City Region manufacturing opportunity among America’s most prestigious manufacturers.

“As the largest manufacturing event in the Americas, IMTS gives more than 100,000 manufacturing professionals a glimpse into the future of our industry. IMTS is the place to see how never-thought-of-before technologies, such as 3D-printing, are being adopted as mainstream applications and how manufacturers are embracing automation to make their operations more productive,” added Peter Eelman, vice president of Exhibitions and Communications, Association for Manufacturing Technology; and spokesperson, IMTS.

A specialist event, the TRAM 2014 Conference on Advanced Machining Processes will also be held during IMTS. It will reveal cutting-edge thinking to solve problems, such as excessive waste on small runs, speed of manufacture and digital design, with many developments coming from high-tech aerospace R&D teams.

A supporting civic / VIP program will see Leeds City Region network with the Chicago Federal Reserve, the Chicago Council in Global Affairs, the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Center for Economic Development, and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute / UI Labs.

The Wisconsin Trade and Investment Agency is also on board, and ties will be strengthened with the Indiana / Indianapolis area.

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