by Neil Wood, Managing Director, Engineering Group, Centaur Publishing Limited

March 31 1999 was a momentous day for Centaur, as it was then that we successfully completed the acquisition from Miller Freeman of the Engineering Media Division, which includes six magazines, four exhibitions, a newsletter and a variety of different marketing materials.

It was momentous for two reasons: first, as a media organisation, we could see many ways of improving the already good brands that we acquired. Second, we saw an opportunity to highlight very clearly the importance of engineering to the UK economy.

We are now proud to host the sixth Manufacturing Industry Achievement Awards and to welcome guests to the awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

Passion is not often a word associated with business, but we bring exactly that to this business. We fervently believe that engineering has been undersold as a valuable source of pride to the UK, and we intend to utilise all of our products, but in particular The Engineer as the market-leading title, to bring pride back to British engineering.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be announcing a series of initiatives that support the assertion that British engineering stands head and shoulders above its counterparts in other countries, and that we have much to offer the country and the world.

It is heartening to note that we have a record number of entries to this year’s awards, all of an extremely high standard, and that the awards ceremony itself attracted an even larger audience.

I am particularly indebted to the judges at this year’s awards and to our sponsors, who have continued to support this important event.

Finally, we would like to wish all of the entrants every success and encourage other companies to enter the competition in 2000.

There have been acres of forest used in the past few months to describe what the millennium means to many companies and individuals. As far as the engineering sector is concerned, we want to encourage individuals and companies to enter a new century as leaders and innovators.