Manufacturers are urged to embrace digital

Manufacturers could fall behind if they don't embrace digital technology, according to an expert who helps businesses embrace new technology and software.
Leeds Digital Festival director Stuart ClarkeLeeds Digital Festival director Stuart Clarke
Leeds Digital Festival director Stuart Clarke

Matthew Skelton, head of consulting at Conflux, helped kick off the Leeds Digital Festival yesterday by delivering an event on how technology could benefit manufacturing.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Mr Skelton said: “We’re really in the early stages of seeing manufacturing embrace digital processes, certainly in the UK.

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“Some countries, particularly Germany is somewhat further ahead.”

While the adoption of digital technology is improving among Britain’s manufacturers there is “plenty more to do”, says Mr Skelton.

He added that some sectors are falling behind as a result. “But the race hasn’t been lost,” he added. “There’s still time for manufacturers to catch up.”

Digital in Manufacturing was one of several events held as part of the opening of Leeds Digital Festival.

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This is the third edition of the festival and an extra week has been added to showcase the wider city region’s digital strengths.

Festival director Stuart Clarke said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of the digital sector in Leeds for this year’s Leeds Digital Festival. With 160 events covering every aspect from fintech to med tech, coding to careers, we’re able to showcase the best of the city.

“As an open platform festival, any person or company can get involved; the Leeds Digital Festival belongs to the city.

“We’ve seen growth in the sector over the last few years and this is set to continue. By highlighting the opportunities available in the city, we’ll be able to attract talent and investment from other parts of the UK and internationally.”

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Market research agency Trinity McQueen also helped open the festival with an event looking at policing the digital playground.

The agency worked with charity Internet Matters to do some research into parental concerns about their child’s online safety.

Trinity McQueen presented its findings to show how insights can help organisations better understand their audience.

Laura Morris, director at Trinity McQueen, said: “Leeds Digital Festival is all about the digital age and we hoped to showcase how research is helping an organisation understand and navigate that online digital space better.”

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She added: “We weren’t part of it last year but we really felt compelled to get involved this year because data is a growing industry.

“We’re a research agency we very much embrace online data as a source of insight.”

Trinity McQueen is based in Leeds and Ms Morris says that being a part of the business community meant getting involved in the festival felt like the “right thing to do. We feel a real part of the community here”.

Leeds Digital Festival will run until April 27. For more information visit

Pushing the boundaries

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Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry praised the bright minds and plucky firms pushing technological boundaries as he welcomed the idea of the festival showcasing the sector,

He said: “The Leeds Digital Festival will shine a light on the Northern Powerhouse being at the forefront of digital technology and innovation.

“It’s the bright minds, plucky businesses and visionaries of the Northern Powerhouse who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible while showing the wider world how digital technology can revolutionise our economy and transform our everyday lives.”

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