West Midland gains aerospace technology boost

An initiative to encourage the development of new aerospace technologies in the West Midlands will support small firms in particular.


An initiative to encourage the development of new aerospace technologies in the West Midlands will support small firms in particular.

An initiative to encourage the development of new aerospace technologies in the West Midlands will support small firms in particular.

According to regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM), an extra £1.5 million has been channelled into the Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (ATEP), with the focus being on helping small and medium-sized companies.

The scheme aims to support businesses and research organisations undertaking collaborative working to develop innovations for future aircraft and has aided 19 firms and three universities involved in five projects since its launch in 2006.

Welcoming the extra funding, AWM aerospace manager Jim Coyle says that the region has strengths in the industry which should be built on for future success.

He continues: ‘Considerable growth is forecast in the aerospace industry over the next 20 years, in spite of the current global economic downturn, with exciting new developments coming on board.’

Coyle adds that firms in the region are involved in a ‘major programme’ to replace the Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and other short-range aircraft.

The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts recently claimed that investment in the high-tech sectors will help the UK survive the economic downturn.

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