Business Secretary Vince Cable opened the Make it in Great Britain exhibition in London this week.
The exhibition, which runs for six weeks during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, is the culmination of the Government’s Make it in Great Britain campaign, which was launched last year. The exhibition will feature a mix of displays from 39 businesses including McLaren, Mars, BAE and Rolls Royce.
Showcasing alongside the businesses are the finalists of the Make it in Great Britain Challenge – a competition to seek out the next big pre-market products or ideas from across the UK.
Throughout the exhibition the public will vote on which finalists they want to win across all five categories, which are Make it…Stronger, Make it…Smarter, Make it…Sustainable, Make it…Life Changing, and Make it…Breakthrough (for 16 to 21-year-old entrants only). The winners from each category will go on display together during the final week of the exhibition. An overall competition winner will then be chosen.
As part of the Challenge, all finalists of the Make it…Breakthrough category were put to a public vote ahead of the exhibition for the chance to be crowned the ‘People’s Choice’. The winner was named this week as Bedflex, which is a device designed by a group of BAE Systems apprentices to assist the recovery of amputees and critical care patients by allowing them to take part in bed-based exercises.
Business Secretary Vince Cable, who opened the exhibition, said: “Generating £137bn each year and employing 2.5 million people, manufacturing is a vital part of the UK’s economy. Perceptions of the industry are outdated and need to change if we are going to attract the talent needed to support manufacturing in the long term. Both Government and industry have a role to play, which is why we launched the Make it in Great Britain campaign and are hosting this exhibition.”
Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum said: “The Science Museum and its world leading collections demonstrate some of the greatest engineering achievements of the last 200 years, and the Make it in Great Britain exhibition is no exception, highlighting the exciting places that UK manufacturing could take us in the next few years and beyond.
“Science, technology and engineering have all been used to solve problems throughout history – from light-bulbs and televisions to inventions such as the Stephenson’s Rocket locomotive on show at the museum, and they’ve all gone on to contribute to British manufacturing. We’re hoping that as many people as possible will come and experience some of the most exciting innovations from around the UK this summer at the Science Museum.”
Entry is free to the Make it in Great Britain exhibition. It will be on display until September 9.
Find out more about Make it in Great Britain.