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Eight Midlands aerospace innovation projects win £900,000 match funding

The National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) has awarded more than £900,000 directly to Midlands-based manufacturers in its latest round of funding. As a result, the research and development of eight innovative technologies begins this month. Working in collaboration, Muretex Ltd and University of Coventry are using optical head mounted displays to improve inspection methods, while Meggitt Aerospace Ltd and Ashton & Moore Ltd, with assistance from the Manufacturing Technology Centre are aiming to develop an aerospace engine valve using 3D printing. GE Aviation Systems and Cambridge Nanotherm Ltd are looking to improve the thermal performance of power modules, Semelab Ltd and Premet are investigating whether they can lower the weight and reduce the maintenance cost of power modules by using a standard single switch and Rapita Systems and University of York are developing next-generation software verification tools. To explore a better technique for in-situ drilling on aircraft, Teer Coatings Ltd and Kyocera Unimerco Tooling Ltd are working alongside the University of Manchester, and Welwyn Components Power & Hybrid and Accelonix have teamed up with the University of Newcastle to demonstrate the commercial benefits of a new cleaning process during device manufacture. Over the next eighteen months, all these technologies will be developed in partnership with end customers, including Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation and Airbus. This brings the total number of NATEP projects up and running in the Midlands to 15, benefiting from more than £1.75million of funding, which has been matched by the 37 local aerospace supply chain companies taking part. Nationally, there are now 46 projects underway, involving 105 aerospace supply chain companies. The £40million NATEP programme, funded by Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), managed by ADS and delivered in the Midlands by the Midlands Aerospace Alliance, provides matched funding and expert mentoring. The aim is to help companies develop 100 innovative technologies for new products or manufacturing processes and to create and safeguard jobs within a world-leading UK aerospace supply chain. With a further 80 outline proposals received at the close of Call 4 for projects, and even more received for the final Call 5 this month, NATEP looks set to exceed this goal. NATEP Deputy Programme Director Bridget Day remarked: “What worthy winners we have in the Midlands. These are exciting ideas that have the potential to transform, sustain and augment aerospace manufacturing. What may appear to be a small change to a process can, in fact, have an enormous impact on the whole supply chain, making global aerospace safer, faster, cheaper and more sustainable. “The teams will be collaborating this month to determine next steps and our team of technology specialists will be on hand to offer advice, training and mentoring every step of the way.”

Press release issued by ADS Group on May 28, 2015


 Contact details from our directory:
Pre-met Engineering Solutions Stamping
Semelab Limited Diodes, Transistors
Muretex Ltd Design Services
Welwyn Components Ltd.
ADS Group Trade Organisations
Meggitt Aerospace Components Bellows, Ball Joints, Manifolds & Ducts
GE Aviation Systems
Rapita Systems Ltd Electric/Electronic Test Equipment, Timers/Timing Systems


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