The conference attracted around 140 delegates from the UK and internationally, many were senior representatives from across the glass industry and the supply chain, including manufacturers, retailers, brand owners and architects such as Tesco, AB InBev, SAB Miller and Siemens.Dave Dalton Opens the ConferenceThe theme for the conference – ‘innovation within glass and the supply chain’ – was reflected throughout the day in the keynote addresses, panel discussions and breakout sessions, covering areas such as the economic landscape, developments in technology, current and future thinking around environmental issues, developments in food packaging, architecture and design and innovations within glass.Keynote addresses were delivered by Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass; Ruth Miller, Senior Economist at the CBI; James O’Callaghan of Eckersley O’Callaghan, an architect’s firm who designed the Apple stores and Dr Jane Muncke, Managing Director of the Food Packaging Forum Foundation.Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said in a supporting statement: “The Glass Focus Conference is an important opportunity to reflect on the vital role that glass plays in just about every facet of our daily lives, from packaging and tableware to medical technology and fibre-optics.“Glass is a vital part of the hi-tech manufacturing supply chain.Last month I announced a further £100m of support under our Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative to strengthen supply chains and to support the reshoring trend.
“We share your commitment to developing a skilled workforce. As well as co-funding the Glass Academy Project with industry, earlier this month we launched ‘Your Life’ - a campaign to drive up the number of young people, especially women, studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
“With so much forward thinking and innovation in the glass industry, there is a wealth of promise and potential. I can assure you that in turn, Government will continue to build on its strong partnerships with UK industry to achieve our ambitions for growth, and ensure this potential is crystallised.”
Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass added: “We would like to thank everyone who attended the Conference and supported us in bringing together the glass industry and promoting glass as a material. We cannot secure the future of the industry by persisting with the status quo. We must collaborate and build a new vision for the future by investing in new technologies, new capabilities, improving productivity and training the workforce to ensure they have the necessary skills.”
“We were also delighted to hold our inaugural Glass Focus Industry Awards at this year’s conference, recognising some of the companies who are already striving towards this vision, congratulations to all of the winners.”
The BG Industry Award results were as follows:
- People and Skills (sponsored by The Glass Academy) – Ardagh Group
- Innovation of the Year (sponsored by Siemens) – Eckersley O’Callaghan Special mention to Allied Glass for their investment in 3D printing
- Glass Company of the Year (sponsored by British Glass) – Ardagh Group