ERA Annual Report 2020

The ERA Foundation’s centenary year has proved to be a dramatic one, for the UK working through the final stages of Brexit and for the global community facing the immense challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In spite of these challenges, the ERA Foundation has continued to expand its portfolio of activities, supporting the UK’s technology manufacturing and helping to raise the capability of the next generation of engineers.

We are proud of the special efforts that our STEM education partners have made to rapidly shift their programmes to new digital platforms, reaching pupils and teachers working from home and continuing to encourage pupils across the UK towards careers in engineering and applied science. 

I would also like to compliment the Foundation’s IT and creative team on the rebranding update for the Foundation and the very appealing new Born to Engineer videos which really catch the spirit of the moment and are proving very successful in engaging the attention of a much wider range of young people. 

Our policy development partners, Civitas and Policy Connect, have also been working hard, using their considerable expertise to focus government awareness on the real needs of the manufacturing sector, especially in the current chaotic environment. 

The Foundation itself is committed to continue to play its part in these endeavours and we have significantly increased our project budget in light of Covid-19 and Brexit, allocating a minimum of £1.5m over the next three years to strategic programmes with our partners. 

The ERA Foundation will focus on four large-scale, headline programmes, each of which will stretch over two years. These will be in addition to ERAF’s longstanding commitments to various prestigious Awards and Born to Engineer. The four programmes are:

  • Promoting Innovative UK Manufacturing and strengthening UK supply chains.
  • A full-scale STEM Accord programme focussed on the Midlands manufacturing ecosystem involving all of ERA Foundation’s STEM delivery partners, businesses, LEPs and Local Authorities.
  • National programme to engage up to 350 companies and 176,000 pupils in design for manufacturing
  • National programme to boost FE provision of STEM skills for careers in industry

In the following report there are further details and examples of inspirational projects that the Foundation is sponsoring alongside the four themes I have highlighted above. We feel that the Foundation’s ability to react quickly to support innovative responses in those areas important to us has never been more important. We are very fortunate indeed to have members and partners who have shown their commitment to work with us.

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden
Chairman, The ERA Foundation

Featured image with thanks to @thisisengineering