Auto suppliers to uncover autonomous vehicle opportunities at SMMT Open Forum

17 October 2014 #SMMT News

The agenda for the upcoming SMMT Open Forum has been announced, with a focus on the opportunities provided by autonomous vehicles.

Taking place on Tuesday 4 November at Cranmore Park in Solihull, the event will feature a day of presentations, discussions and support sessions from key industry figures.

The morning session will include an update of Automotive Council activities as well as an industry outlook. The latter will include a presentation by Google’s Head of Automotive on the opportunities for the UK supply chain resulting from the drive towards autonomous vehicles.

As a first for Open Forum, the event will conclude with two targeted breakout sessions to give delegates a better understanding of access to finance and export opportunities.

Breakout sessions agenda:

Breakout oneFunding support session

Stephen Hetherington, Investment Director, Finance Birmingham

  • Tooling Loan Fund.
  • Update on the national Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative.
  • New Midlands based ‘AMSCI’ type fund.

Aiden Farrell, Team Leader – Vocational Education Directorate, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

  • Update on the Supply Chain Skills Fund.

Breakout two
Export opportunities session

Carl Jaysekera, Senior Trade & Investment Manager Automotive Sector, UK Trade and Investment

  • Supplier opportunities in key growth markets (including India, Germany, China, USA, Mexico and Japan).

Rob Morbin, Member Relations Manager, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

  • UK automotive specific group missions, seminars and trade events.
  • How to explore key markets.
  • SMMT’s plans for 2015 and the opportunities for collaboration, networking, funding and support.


Attendance is free for SMMT members, and £50 (+VAT) for non-members. For more information, or to register your interest for a breakout session, please email

View the full agenda for the event here. To register your attendance at Open Forum, click here.

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