Makers Alliance to drive future of manufacturing in Northern Ireland

New independent industry-led body Makers Alliance to drive the strategic development of the advanced manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland.

A new body called Makers Alliance has been formed in Northern Ireland to ensure that the Northern Ireland manufacturing sector can thrive and be competitive in years to come.

The Makers Alliance will act as an independent body, supported by Invest Northern Ireland

“Its focus will be to accelerate innovation, digitalisation and the green agenda within manufacturing”

Invest NI is providing £197,200 of support towards its establishment.

“Northern Ireland’s Advanced Manufacturing sector has been at the heart of our economy for many years,” explained Northern Ireland Economy Minister Paul Frew.

“It is also one of the priority clusters identified in my Department’s 10X Economic Vision as having the potential to drive our economy forward.”

Single vision for future of NI manufacturing

Group of people standing in docklands area of Belfast.

Pictured (from left): Mark Huddleston, joint CEO, Makers Alliance with Economy Minister Paul Frew; Sir Michael Ryan CBE, Vice President and General Manager, Spirit Aerosystems; Rose Mary Stalker, Chair, Invest NI and Mark Nodder, joint CEO, Makers Alliance

Frew said that Makers Alliance will work closely with key stakeholders including Manufacturing NI, universities, further education colleges and councils to address the needs of industry.

“Its focus will be to accelerate innovation, digitalisation and the green agenda within manufacturing. It will play an important role in supporting the development of a single, unified vision for the sector. This vision will integrate with national strategies and ensure that the Northern Ireland manufacturing sector remains strong and globally competitive.”

Sir Michael Ryan CBE, vice president and general manager of Spirit AeroSystems, Belfast has been appointed Chair of the Makers Alliance. Mark Nodder and Mark Huddleston have been appointed joint CEOs for a period of 12 months.

“The establishment of Makers Alliance couldn’t have come at a better time as we navigate difficult times for many manufacturing businesses and look to a post pandemic recovery” Ryan said. “I look forward to taking up this position and supporting the sector to embrace innovation, to drive growth and support a more sustainable, competitive and lower carbon manufacturing industry.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 6 July 2021