2021 Lab Suppliers' Conference


Your conference 2021 - Steering through choppy waters

Conference dinner 18th January

Conference 19th January


All the plans are in place for us to get together again in January in Melton Mowbray for our annual Lab Suppliers Conference.

Everyone expects to be trading through some difficult conditions in 2021, so this year’s conference will focus on providing you with what you need to make the right business decisions for the year.

As well as political and economic forecasts, there will be a presentation from a senior BEIS official to clue you in on what’s happening with trade, tariffs and all things EU Exit just as everything is kicking off.

Given the vulnerability of some supply chains revealed by COVID-19, and the potential for a buy British campaign from the Government, there will be a session on how to assess your options for optimising quality and cost by making rather than buying-in components. There will also be a case study from Nidec, explaining how they made the decision to bring the manufacture of a large volume, low cost, component in house and what the impacts have been on their business.


Digital and sustainable – the new normal

In order to achieve or retain world-beating status, it is essential to identify opportunities, and avoid being crowded out of markets as customers set new minimum requirements. The Government has identified two areas as offering the opportunity to gain international competitive advantage, building on our existing reputation for quality. These are digitization and sustainable production. While sustainability has long had the reputation for being rather boring and ‘worthy’, there is Government funding available to help companies develop their products to demands made by customers who often have no idea what meeting them will entail. The issue with digitization is different – it requires skills which some companies may not have readily to hand, but with funding, recruiting such resources becomes possible.

So the third session at the conference will provide inspiring ideas and information about innovations, and the fourth will explain exactly what funding is available to you, and how to be certain of getting it.

For those with nerves of steel, there will also be a presentation on cyber-crime so you can adequately protect your company, and also make sure that your products don’t present a risk to your customers.

Once again this year we will be offering a special second delegate rate so that you can bring your key staff along to the conference and make sure that the ideas can be disseminated and acted on in your company without you having to do all the work yourself.

The rates to attend have been kept the same as last year, although we have booked an even nicer venue this year, Stapleford Park in Melton Mowbray.

To book your place click here.

Conference programme

The UK Laboratory Technology Suppliers’ Conference

Tuesday 19th January 2020 

Venue Stapleford Park

Theme: Steering through choppy waters




08.30 / 09.00

Conference registration and Coffee 

Session 1

Forecasts for the coming year


Welcome, David Smith, Chair, GAMBICA Lab Tech and MD, SPECAC


Economic forecast – Frances Haque Santander 


Political forecast – John Arnold - Universal Northern



GAMBICA update to include EURIS  - Steve Brambley, GAMBICA

Latest on Brexit – Terry Boniface, BEIS



Session 2

Increasing your margins in difficult times


Make or buy – Paul Christodoulou, University of Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing


Reshoring in practice – Gareth Jones and Huw Mills, Nidec


Panel discussion – In house v outsourcing – what’s best for UK lab companies?


Lunch - (Please hand in survey forms at the registration table)

Session 3

Business threats and disruptors


Zero carbon targets – building your product portfolio to meet current and future demand – TBC


Digitization – how to identify and carry through productivity improvements for your company - TBC


Cyber security – managing the threat from your equipment and to your business – Richard Bach 


Session 4

Diversifying sources of income


What funding is available to you including innovate UK for manufacturing, life sciences and SMEs –Nigel Rix Knowledge Transfer Network


How to identify a project for your company and win funding – Steve Smith, Inventya


Panel discussion - How can lab companies benefit from funding opportunities but minimise the risks of change?


Results of the business sentiment survey and close