UK Government Invests in Research Centres in Aerospace and 3D Printing Technologies

The UK Government is keen to preserve the UK’s position as pioneers in the global aerospace market, with the opening of two new research centres in Coventry.

The new research centres, located at the existing Manufacturing Technology Centre in the West Midlands, feature the latest 3D printing technologies for the aerospace market. The UK Government has invested £60 million in the new facilities, which were opened by Business Minister Anna Soubry.

They have been entitled the ‘Aerospace Research Centre’ and ‘National Centre for Net Shape and Additive Manufacturing.’ The new 3D-printing facilities will be used to design and develop new products for aero-engines and aircraft landing gear.

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More technology projects to come

The government has recently announced that it will be launching an additional four technology projects, as well as a competition for small businesses. The competition will require small businesses to come up with game-changing aerospace technologies, with the prize being a £10 million investment.

The aim of these projects is to maintain Britain’s reputation as being one of the leading countries for aerospace innovation. The UK is currently 2nd behind the US in Aerospace, however the government and industry feel like more can be done going forward.

With continued investment in research and development and the invention of revolutionising technologies, Britain will retain its valuable share of the aerospace market.

3D printing technology is of course the driving force behind new inventions in the aerospace sector. With a wide range of benefits including outstanding accuracy and precision, it has the potential to revolutionise the industry.

Significant investments for aerospace manufacturers

The four new projects announced will be backed by a £2.1 billion commitment for aerospace research and development by both the government and industry, under the guidance of ATI (Aerospace Technology Institute).

The money will be split amongst a number of companies including Airbus, Spirit AeroSystems, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Aeromet and a Meggit-led consortium.

It has been announced that Airbus have been given a £7.2 million investment to research and develop ways to eliminate imperfection on wings that case drag.

The Meggitt-led consortium will also be granted £5 million to integrate advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things, for aircraft production. £6.4 million will be granted to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Aeromet and Spirit AeroSystems for the purpose of researching assembly technologies for aerospace. UTC Aerospace Systems will be given £4.4 million to set up new production lines for its composite products.

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Image credit: Coventry City Council

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