Nick Scheele, Ford of Europe’s newly promoted senior vice-president, and Meggitt chairman Sir Donald Spiers are among panel chairmen for the new Foresight exercise which gets under way next month.
Organisers of the exercise in which industry leaders and academics identify research and technology priorities promise that manufacturing will have a higher profile than in the first Foresight round, which began in 1994.
Government chief scientific adviser Sir Robert May, chairman of the Foresight Steering Group, admitted that ‘manufacturing tended to cut across several panels or to be submerged in individual ones’ in the original exercise.
There have also been efforts to widen panel membership, to answer criticism that the original participants came from too narrow an R&D spectrum.
This time, manufacturing, to be chaired by Scheele, has been set up as an over-arching ‘thematic’ panel.
Spiers will chair the defence, aerospace and systems sectoral panel. Sir John Wood of Nottingham University continues as chair of the materials group. Other sector panel chairs are expected to be announced soon. The panels include: built environment and transport; chemicals; energy and natural environment; information, media and communications; and retail and consumer services.
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