Economic Expert Visits Innovative Sheffield Forgemasters

Sheffield Forgemasters showed off its innovation and transatlantic credentials with a visit from US economic and cities expert Bruce Katz.

The former advisor to President Obama and Bill Clinton was visiting the engineering giant as part of his invite by Sheffield City Council and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to help expand the region's profile globally.

Bruce Katz Visiting Sheffield Forgemasters

Pic caption: (left to right) Emma Hogan, The Economist; Bruce Katz; Kelly Kline, Mark Tomlinson, group business development director, Sheffield Forgemasters; Diana Buckley, economic strategy manager, Creative Sheffield; Councillor Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for Business, Skills and Development, Sheffield City Council; Louise McGough, policy officer, Centre for Cities.

His visit marked the launch of Sheffield’s International Economic Commission and is the first of a series of “city charrettes” which will showcase Sheffield to the world and enable city leaders to make global investment connections.

His trip also coincided with the authorities' launch of an ambitious plan to create the first Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District in the UK.

The district will highlight the region’s unique capability in manufacturing technology and engineering for supply chains in industries such as aerospace, civil nuclear, oil and gas, healthcare technologies and transportation.

Speaking at Sheffield Forgemasters Mr Katz said: "It is a privilege to visit a global advanced manufacturer. I was extremely interested to see how Sheffield Forgemasters' innovative practices fit in with my thoughts on how business and innovation can reinvigorate cities.

"Companies like this are leading the way in linking advanced manufacturing to the research community by becoming anchor institutions in the local innovation ecosystem.

"I was quite taken aback by the scale of both the facilities and the ambition in the region to create an advanced manufacturing hub for the country.

“The cooperation between industry, academia and local government in Sheffield and Rotherham gives us a new model for the success of urban revitalisation through innovation.”

He was joined by Kelly Kline, economic development director of the City of Fremont, California.

During the three-day visit Mr Katz met influential business leaders in the region, visited the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and delivered a public lecture in partnership with the University of Sheffield at Sheffield’s recently-restored historic Cathedral. His visit also featured trips to Newburgh Precision Engineering and Alcoa.