NCC welcomes £60 million of new funding for the development of high-tech aerospace technology

The National Composites Centre together with the other 6 partners of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult gathered in January for the organisation’s first summit. Keynote Speaker, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne used the opportunity to announce £60 million of new funding for the development of new high-tech aerospace technology at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry.

The Chancellor outlined how 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:

“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 a dedicated facility for aerospace manufacturing as part of £2 billion of support for this growing sector.”

The UK is currently number one for the aerospace industry in Europe and second only to the United States globally. 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.

NCC Chief Executive Peter Chivers said, “We’re delighted to see the investment in aerospace. With our track record in the field of aerospace composites the NCC will be working with the MTC as a fellow partner of the HVM Catapult, and our aviation industry members, to continue to provide technology development in the industrial application of carbon fibre composites.”

“Britain has a world leading aerospace industry and here at the NCC we will continue to invest in the latest cutting edge technology to help keep it that way. Our new facilities, currently under construction, and which were funded by a further £28 million government investment last year will ensure UK industry can capitalise on the advances in composites technology we and our members make. The rapid re-transmission of knowledge gained is as important as its development in order to help the UK maintain the competitive edge in the sector.”

He continued, “That knowledge capture and transfer process will be critical in providing individual work ready employees and assist with creating and retaining more high-skilled, long-term jobs in the UK.”

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult allows companies of all sizes 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 High Value Manufacturing Catapult programme, 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.

Other high-value manufacturing which will further utilise the low weight, high strength properties of advanced composites include the development of new super-efficient vehicles, rail and construction infrastructure and renewable energy devices.


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