Transcript of a speech by Dominic McAllister, British Deputy High Commissioner Bengaluru on 3 December 2015
I am delighted to welcome you all to today’s conference on Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation jointly organised with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET).
This event is part of a week of activities across India. Our first event in Pune on Tuesday focussed on the Auto sector. My UK colleagues attended and they report it was a huge success. The presentations were excellent and the discussions invigorating. I expect nothing less of today.
The conferences are part of the UK’s GREAT campaign. Specifically “Engineering is GREAT”. In the UK we are proud of our past, and confident of our future. We want to celebrate the things that make the United Kingdom special. Manufacturing technologies, innovation, and advanced engineering are some of our strengths. We in Britain are also clear that India is GREAT too, but together we are greater still. In Prime Minister Modi’s words during his recent visit to the UK: we represent an “unbeatable combination”.
I am pleased that some of you attending today already source technologies, equipment and machinery; critical aerospace components; or design solutions from the UK.
Some of you have already set up a business presence in the UK to access the UK’s unique technology and innovation ecosystem.
But I’d like to see more Indian and UK companies working together. Did you know……
- The UK is one of the most business friendly places in the world – which is why Indians invest more in the UK than in the whole of the rest of the EU put together;
- it takes only 13 days to set up a business in the UK;
- the UK has the lowest corporation tax in the G20;
- the UK attracts more FDI than any other country except the US;
- for overseas buyers, UK Export Finance has attractive credit and direct lending schemes;
- the UK has low labour costs, flexible legislation, a stable currency and a developed infrastructure;
- the UK’s comprehensive and efficient science and innovation system helps UK based companies offer cutting edge technologies to overseas markets, and provides a range of attractive investment and R&D opportunities in the UK for leading manufacturing companies from around the world.
And where better for the UK to look for significant partnership opportunities than India.
India is moving from a model where foreign technologies are adapted and then manufactured here, to a scenario where technologies are developed in-country as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. To grow, India already recognises that it is important to nurture, incubate, fund, commercialise and scale innovations.
We can do this together. The relationship between India and Britain is flourishing. Our ambition is to make it even stronger. Given the ties between us, we should really be more ambitious. There are real opportunities to create new partnerships in a number of areas in the manufacturing sector, especially Aerospace.
We already do a lot together:
- Since 2008, joint Indo/UK research funding has risen from £1m to £200m;
- In October this year, the UK’s Science and Innovation network along with UKTI took a delegation of Indian Academics and CTOs to visit the UK’s Catapult Centres to explore collaborative opportunities. These centres bring together the best of UK business, scientists and engineers - to work side by side on late stage R&D. This activity is already catalysing new emerging partnerships and the catapults have returned to be with us today.
- the UK has committed £10m a year for 5 years (100 Crore Rupees a year) to promote science and innovation partnerships with India;
- The UK and India work together through Newton-Bhabha Programme – This includes a £5m collaborative industrial R&D programme helping UK and Indian academics and industry set up projects in the areas of clean tech and affordable healthcare.
Let me return to today’s aerospace theme. Our UK speakers come from a sector that:
- contributes £24 billion annually to the UK economy and employs around 230,000 people.
- it exports 75% of what is produced giving the UK a 17% global market share;
- it enjoys a rich tradition of academia-industry connections through institutes such as the catapults;
- it supports a very active aerospace trade association, ADS which through its association with regional aerospace clusters, represents the 3000 or so UK based aerospace companies.
Please would you join me in welcoming our visitors. I’m told that this is perhaps one of the largest ever sector specific grouping to come to Bangalore.
Also in the audience are my colleagues from UK Trade & Investment and from the UK Science and Innovation Network. They are here to help you with your enquiries.
I have only been in Bangalore for a month, but I am hugely impressed by the potential and real opportunities that the city has to offer.
I very much hope that you all will find today’s event useful.