Mersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseysideMersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseyside

Head of major manufacturing and engineering business joins Mersey Maritime leadership board

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Clive Hickman, Chief Executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, as a member of its board with immediate effect. Dr Hickman will join the UK’s leading maritime cluster organisation, adding the knowledge and experience in innovation and technology needed to drive the industry forward, not just regionally, but nationally.

The Manufacturing Technology Centre, members of Mersey Maritime since 2016, is based at Ansty, near Coventry, and more recently opened a state of the art facility in Liverpool. It is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and has a particular emphasis on Intelligent Automation, Near Net Shape Manufacturing, Advanced Tooling and Fixturing, High Integrity Fabrication and Process/System Modelling and Stimulation. The MTC prides itself on bridging the gap between academic research and industrial exploitation, creating a cohesive link between academia and industry.

Commenting, Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome our longstanding member and supporter, Dr Clive Hickman, to the Board of Mersey Maritime. Clive and the work of the MTC which he leads, shares our values and the very ethos that drives Mersey Maritime as an organisation. We pride ourselves on being the link between the three key strands that make a regional cluster organisation thrive: industry, government and academia. No better company exemplifies the power of that relationship. I know Clive will make an invaluable contribution to our ongoing development and expansion as an organisation going forward.”

John Hulmes, Chairman of Mersey Maritime added: “This is appointment is a real boost to the Mersey Maritime team. When Clive addressed a Mersey Maritime Face-2-Face event recently, I was profoundly struck by the important work his team is doing at the MTC which has a base here in the Liverpool City Region. They have responded to the challenges presented by Covid-19 to help the collective effort to deal with the crisis but they are world leaders in so many important areas of manufacturing activity and innovation. Having a leader in the modern manufacturing technology sector on our Board can only be a good thing.”

Dr Hickman presented to Mersey Maritime members in April 2020 at one of its best attended virtual networking events, and called for a renewed focus on the UK’s knowledge economy. He talked about how manufacturers and innovators have demonstrated their value during the COVID-19 crisis by turning their skills to develop vital equipment for NHS staff on the frontline of fighting the virus.

Dr Hickman explained how he feels this effort could provide a platform for a new era of British manufacturing and innovation, commenting that: “From the mid-1980s manufacturing was forgotten about. We were happy to let it be done overseas. But Germany has continued to manufacture, so why can’t we? What has always frustrated me is that despite us having the best research in the world at our universities, coming up with great products and processes, so many things end up being made abroad. Flat screen TVs is my favourite example of that. We need to invest in the capacity to make things here in the UK. We need to upskill our workforce so they can quickly adapt to what is needed. Training will be a big part of the work we do in Liverpool in the future.”

Read more about the work of the MTC here:

Mersey Maritime
About Mersey Maritime
Mersey Maritime is the representative body for the Maritime Sector and related industry sectors operating across the Liverpool City Region. We work with businesses of all sizes and in all locations to develop strong, market-responsive supply chains and promote Liverpool’s maritime industry as a world class Centre of Excellence.


Mersey Maritime is one of Europe’s most successful maritime cluster organisations, representing the interests of over 1700 Maritime, Logistics and Energy businesses on Merseyside and beyond.

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Head of major manufacturing and engineering business joins Mersey Maritime leadership board