david bailey 4Professor David Bailey, an expert on West Midlands manufacturing, has been appointed as Aston Business School’s professor of industrial strategy.

He has acted as a special adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on the West Midlands region, presenting to a number of select committees and All Party Parliamentary Groups.

In a Post article he says that he intends to continue working on the areas of research pursued at the University of Coventry.

Some readers will particularly welcome his interest in the region’s supply chain, low carbon vehicles and ‘re-shoring’ – “how far it has gone and how we can encourage more”. They might even remember our coverage of this work a year ago.

Re-shoring, onshoring

As Peter Davies, chairman and founder of Smethwick’s Professional Polishing wrote, “It is great to see that there is a new buzz word around – onshoring! To bring back production of certain items from overseas, particularly China, will be a slow process but as there is now only a small cost advantage to producing in China this will become an option that is considered more and more”.

Low carbon vehicles

After some disappointing years it has been pleasing to note that several large auto manufacturers are now developing electric cars.

police electric car fleetAt the world’s biggest car show in Frankfurt, electric cars were heralded as one of the leading trends, particularly for ‘fleets’. In May, West Midlands Police took a three-year lease on 30 electric cars.

Stop press:

Iceland’s government has now encouraged greater uptake of low carbon vehicles by pledging that 10% of all transport fuel will be eco-friendly by 2020. It is considering hydrogen, methane and electric cars.

In due course, Professor Bailey might be interested to see how this is working out.