A Blueprint for Success – 3D Printing Experts, Photocentric, to headline launch event of new regional manufacturing network
A Blueprint for Success – 3D Printing Experts, Photocentric, to headline launch event of new regional manufacturing network

Sally Tipping, the Sales Director for Photocentric, a globally renowned 3D printing specialist based in Peterborough will be the keynote speaker at the launch event for the Smart Manufacturing Alliance on 13 October.

Sally will take to the stage at Cambridge Bar Hill Hotel to share the story of Photocentric’s home-grown success, and to champion the innovative culture of manufacturers across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

Sally will discuss:

  • how Photocentric pioneered 3D printing techniques and materials (also known as additive layer manufacturing)
  • their standout products – which include dental moulds, digiscopes for cameras, and even producing face shields for the government after the outbreak of COVID19
  • their plans for a multi-million pound research and development centre at ARU Peterborough
  • their sustainable future and progress to date using additive manufacturing to optimise battery production

The Smart Manufacturing Alliance aims to build on the strength of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough manufacturing to develop a world-class sector cluster. The team’s work will involve supporting disruptive businesses like Photocentric to bring new ideas to life, developing training brokerages to help manufacturers upskill staff and strengthen their core operations, as well as addressing productivity and performance gaps through one-to-one business support to help manufacturers become more resilient, sustainable, and profitable.

An industry leading speaker line-up includes Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor, Dr Nik Johnson, and figures from the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) and NAAME. The half-day agenda will begin with networking from 8.30am for a 9.00am start, with talks until 12.30pm and a complimentary lunch afterwards.

Delegates will also hear about the Smart Manufacturing Alliance’s ambitions working with manufacturers which include:

  • identify and address performance gaps in their business,
  • adopt new Industry 4.0 technologies through a £1.2 million European Regional Development (ERDF) programme, ACMI 4.0, which includes a capital grant fund for SME manufacturers. This will be run by Opportunity Peterborough in partnership with the Smart Manufacturing Alliance.
  • develop the technical and leadership skills they need in their workforce through a training brokerage
  • network with other manufacturers across the region
  • build relationships with research institutions, universities, and academics to help manufacturers test out new ideas, and reach new levels of innovation.

Membership to the Alliance will also give manufacturers affiliate membership to MAKE UK.

The Alliance’s work is being guided and overseen by a steering group of local industry leaders, ensuring it delivers value for the sector. Members include the likes of Photocentric, Metalcraft, Le Mark Group, the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge, TWI, MAKE UK, Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, and Anglia Ruskin University.

Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said “We’re delighted to have Sally heading up the launch event for the Smart Manufacturing Alliance. Photocentric’s disruptive and ambitious work embodies the kind of innovation we want to support across the sector in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“Helping manufacturers adopt and optimise new Industry 4.0 technologies like additive manufacturing is just one strand of our team’s work to boost innovation, productivity and sustainability within manufacturing.

“Membership of the Smart Manufacturing Alliance allows manufacturers to address productivity and performance gaps with comprehensive diagnostics and one-to-one support. A significant focus for our team will also be developing the leaders and innovators of the future with a training brokerage and events that connect businesses and individuals to foster collaboration and the sharing of best practice.”

To find out more about the Alliance, visit or email:

Free places can be booked online at: