Invest NI Announces Support For £3M Bombardier R&D Project

Dec 11, 2006

Invest Northern Ireland today announced its support for a £3 million research and development project by Bombardier Aerospace in Belfast.

Bombardier will investigate and develop new materials and technologies, particularly within composites, to improve the design and structure of aircraft wings for the highly competitive international aerospace market. The project is part of the UK wide Integrated Wing Aerospace Technology Validation Programme (ATVP),

Bombardier’s participation in the programme, which also aims to address sustainable aviation issues, is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and amounts to a total investment locally of more than £3.3m.

The £34 million ATVP programme, which was announced at Airbus Broughton in North Wales today, is part of the National Aerospace Technology Strategy, and aims to increase the competitiveness of the UK aerospace sector.

Commenting on the Bombardier investment, Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development said: “Wing production and the development of innovative wing systems and structures are key growth areas for the UK aerospace industry.  

“This programme will help to further advance Bombardier’s capabilities, improve its ability to secure hi-tech contracts and retain its leading position in the global aerospace market.  It represents an important step in improving the competitiveness of companies within the sector and will help to address the increasing challenges presented by low cost countries.”

Michael Ryan, Vice-president and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, said:  "This is an excellent opportunity for us to participate in a collaborative research programme that will enable us to further develop our capabilities and skills in the design and manufacture of large aircraft structures."

The Integrated Wing Aerospace Technology Validation Programme is led by Airbus UK and funded by DTI, the regional development agencies and devolved administrations.

The programme is designed to pave the way for a step change in wing technologies and configurations addressing sustainable aviation issues such as development, production, and maintenance costs

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