Eye-opening trip to Warick

Submitted by: Leigh Felton, Commerce Assistant Director, Business Services 

A group of us representing five companies and the Department of Commerce split off from the main delegation who were headed to Farnborough today, and instead, we ventured out of London to the town of Warick, where we visited Warwick Manufacturing Group. I have to say… what an amazingly fascinating place! Definitely one of my favorite stops on the tour so far. WMG was founded in 1980 to help invigorate UK manufacturing. It is considered an academic department of the University of Warwick and employs 280 full-time as well as a host of industry partners and advisors.

This was a great opportunity to learn more about how WMG manages their manufacturing R&D and Technology transfer, and expose our companies working across similar technologies and platforms to new partners in the UK.

We heard from experts working across Digital Media, Marketing Systems, High Value Manufacturing, future of Healthcare devices, Digital technologies and user interaction, virtual business eco-systems, and a host of other intriguing programs. We spent a full day understanding the WMG’s strategy as it relates to these program areas, and exposing the Washington state companies who have similar backgrounds and expertise, to examine partnering opportunities. There are plans underway already for continued connections post-trip. I look forward to being part of those discussions, and even seeing how the state of WA can utilize technologies to partner and strengthen our own ecosystem and clusters.

I must say, this has been an extremely long 6 days already for me! You hear about how demanding the schedule is for these missions, and I don’t think you can really comprehend it, until you are here, going through it, being in the meetings, seeing everything and everyone come together. I am so impressed, and proud of the Governor and our team for a job well done! I look forward to getting into Farnborough for my first peek tomorrow morning… starting early! and going through the night… this is what it’s all about.


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