Coventry chosen as aerospace innovation base

Coventry has been chosen as the base for a national programme which will support the aims of the Aerospace Growth Partnership to maintain the UK’s global position in the aerospace market.

The National Aerospace Technology Programme (NATEP) is a £40m programme to help innovate technologies for new products or manufacturing processes. The programme, sponsored by Rolls Royce, Airbus, Bombardier, Spirit Aerosystems, GKN and AgustaWestland, is designed to create or retain 1,200 supply chain jobs.

Dave Dawson is the programme’s director and is encouraging companies that might qualify to get in touch.

In a statement he said: “The aim of the programme is to aid innovation in UK aerospace sector in order to allow us to produce new technologies at a greater rate than our competitors.

‘The technologies can be anything from ceramics in aircraft brakes to design methods for tyres and heat exchanges systems. Our team of experts can offer support in the form of technical and business advice as well as mentoring and guidance.’

More than 30 small and medium sized suppliers have already applied for a share of the NATEP funding to help develop future technologies and the programme will make a series of funding calls between now and 2015.

NATEP will be managed by aerospace trade organisation, ADS and delivered across the English regions by the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium, Midlands Aerospace Alliance, North West Aerospace Alliance, and West of England Aerospace Forum.

The programme will also be supported in Northern Ireland and Wales by the devolved governments and ADS Northern Ireland and Aerospace Wales respectively.

Five industry experts based at Warwick University’s Science Park’s Business Innovation Centre in Binley will work with a team in each of the UK’s regional aerospace alliances in programme managing NATEP and engaging with UK aerospace supply chain players in delivering 100 new technologies in the sector.