A UK Government marketing strategy for advanced engineering was launched today to promote its image overseas.

Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Davies of Abersoch criticised UK engineering for being too regional in its approach despite its success stories in sectors such as aerospace.

The relatively newly installed minister said that advanced engineering is integral to the success of the UK economy but that it must speak from a unified script at every trade fair or industry cocktail party.

“If you read the papers you would think that the UK was entirely dependent on financial services,” Davies said at the scheme’s launch, jointly held in London and Birmingham.

“I see my role as a new minister … to position UK engineering at the forefront of what will be, at some point, an economic recovery.”

Davies, who was chairman of Standard Chartered bank before taking up his new role in January, called for greater cooperation between academic institutions and businesses.

He said that during the recession there was no place for protectionism and cited the environmentally friendly Airbus A380, more than a third of which is UK-constructed, as an example of great UK innovation.

UK business ambassador and GKN Aerospace managing director Sir Kevin Smith said that he urged all business leaders to give the marketing scheme their full commitment, particularly in the difficult economic climate.

“We should not forget that in adversity there will be much opportunity. I want us to come out of the blocks firing on all cylinders when the economy turns.”

By Natalie Coomber.