Chancellor announces £60 million to make UK world leader in aerospace technology during visit to the MTC
The Chancellor, George Osborne has announced £60million of new funding for the development of new high-tech aerospace technology at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry.
The government will provide £30 million in funding, which will be matched by industry. It is one of the ways government and industry are working together through the aerospace industrial strategy to give businesses the confidence to invest, creating more high-skilled, long-term jobs in the UK.
The Chancellor said:
“Our long term economic plan is working and the economy is growing. But there is still work to do which is why we are working with industry to drive innovation and lead the global race in technology, engineering and manufacturing.
“We are already the best in Europe for aerospace and I want to do even better. Up to 27,000 new planes are needed between now and 2030, worth billions of pounds to the UK economy in contracts. That is why I am announcing today that together with industry we will invest around £60 million in this centre for aerospace manufacturing and the UK’s first National Centre for Additive Manufacturing. We will be investing £2 billion over the next 7 years in our growing aerospace sector.”
The Chancellor made the announcement during his visit to the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), part of the government’s ‘Catapult’ centres for innovation in high-tech manufacturing, and home of cutting-edge manufacturing technology such as the world’s largest fibre laser operating in an industrial research environment.
The UK is currently number one for the aerospace industry in Europe and second only to the United States globally. This aerospace centre will give UK companies access to state-of-the- art machinery and expertise needed to develop new manufacturing processes, technologies and novel assembly techniques for use in planes, jet engines and civil helicopters that will be exported around the world.
The funding will also support the creation of the National Netshape and Additive Manufacture Centre, which will develop processes such as 3D printing for metallic and alloy components for aero-engines, and aircraft landing gears as well as automotive and medical products.
This investment is part of the £2 billion of joint government and industry funding that will be invested in the sector over the next 7 years and will make sure the UK has the manufacturing capability needed to meet the growing global market, which already generates £24 billion a year for the UK economy.
Chief Executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Dick Elsy said:
“This is a very exciting time for manufacturing in the UK. In the two years since its formation, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is set to exceed its targets in terms of the investment generated from industry, the projects secured and the Collaborative R&D delivered.”
“It is clear that industry recognises and embraces the opportunities that we offer and this latest expansion of capability at the MTC is a tremendous new resource which will help the UK’s high value manufacturing sector – and the aerospace sector in particular –to continue to go from strength to strength.”
The High Value Manufacturing Catapult allows both global companies and smaller start-ups to develop technology from new concepts to commercial reality using state-of-the-art machinery and expertise which is shared between members, reducing the costs to business and ensuring that the UK’s excellence in design and research is translated to marketable products.
Chief Executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Dr Clive Hickman commented:
“The MTC’s mission is to “Inspire Great British Manufacturing” and working in partnership with the UK Government through Technology Strategy Board, the Aerospace Technology Institute and other Catapult centres; we believe we can double the value the manufacturing sector creates for the UK economy.”
Aerospace is just one of the areas of ‘high value manufacturing’ that the government and industry are supporting through the Catapult scheme to stimulate growth in British manufacturing and more than double the sector's contribution to UK GDP. Other high-value manufacturing includes the development of new super-efficient vehicles and electronics, and is widely used in the pharmaceutical and nuclear industries.
About the MTC
The MTC (Manufacturing Technology Centre) has been established to prove innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile environment in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions. The MTC provides a high quality environment for the development and demonstration of new technologies on an industrial scale, providing a unique opportunity for manufacturers to develop new and innovative processes and technologies in a low risk environment.
The areas of MTC’s technology focus are appropriate to both large and small companies and are applicable across industry sectors. The MTC’s members include global manufacturing companies from multiple sectors. Research partners include the University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, Loughborough University and TWI Ltd.
The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult which is supported by the Technology Strategy Board.