AEROSPACE INDUSTRY MUST BECOME KNOWLEDGE LEADER
“Northern Ireland aerospace companies must strengthen their knowledge base and overall competitiveness with greater focus on innovation through R&D projects and technology transfer from collaboration with overseas partners,” Sir Reg Empey, MLA, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, said today.
Sir Reg was speaking during a visit to the Farnborough International Air Show, where he visited the Northern Ireland stand, organised jointly by Invest Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Aerospace Consortium.
Twelve companies are represented on the Northern Ireland group stand and a further three are visiting the show, which runs from 22-28 July, on an Invest NI trade development visit.
Said Sir Reg: “Aerospace is a strategically important industry in terms of its export earnings, the application of knowledge, of world class manufacturing technology and the promotion of engineering skills. It is a major contributor to wealth creation through activities ranging from R&D, process design and high grade software to the manufacture of aerostructures using advanced composite materials.
“It is, furthermore, an industry that is increasingly becoming part of the global aerospace supply chain servicing major manufacturers such as Bombardier, BAE Systems, Boeing, Airbus and Astrium.”
Sir Reg said his Department had encouraged the aerospace industry to develop a new strategy for future growth. The recently completed strategy would position local companies to adapt to the changes in business conditions resulting from the US economic downturn and the impact of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on global air travel.
“I welcome the new Strategic Framework for the industry that has been completed recently by Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Aerospace Consortium. The overall vision is an industry based on collaboration, investment and innovation. The aim will be to win recognition as proactive, world class providers of products and services, competing effectively within the global aerospace industry.
“It is only with a detailed understanding of our capabilities and potential, together with collaboration with other international manufacturers on initiatives that the Northern Ireland Aerospace industry will continue to compete successfully.
“Companies will be encouraged and assisted to apply knowledge and techniques that will improve productivity and marketing skills and overall capability in an intensely competitive marketplace. Encouragingly, two thirds of the companies on the Northern Ireland stand are benefiting from the expertise of Invest NI’s Business Improvement Services.
“E-business is another important mechanism which can be used by even the smallest Northern Ireland company to grow revenues, reduce costs, improve services and compete profitably. Today any Northern Ireland company can pinpoint and plug into the international supply chain and bid electronically for business with the UK and US Governments and major contractors across the globe.
“International shows such as Farnborough enable local companies to keep pace with trends within the industry and to put their products and expertise in front of major manufacturers and their main suppliers.
“Farnborough is an exceptionally important event for our aerospace industry and has an excellent track record. It provides companies with an unrivalled opportunity to see what 1,200 other exhibitors are doing and to identify potential business contacts. No other aerospace event can match the opportunities provided by almost 200,000 business visitors from around 60 countries,” added Sir Reg.
A programme of meetings with aerospace companies from the US, France and Italy has also been arranged for the Northern Ireland group during the show.
NORTHERN IRELAND COMPANIES PARTICIPATING IN THE STAND AT THE FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW
Beaufort Defence and Aerospace Ltd
Aerospace and marine survival systems
Creative Composites Ltd
Plastics and composites
Denroy Plastics Ltd
John Huddleston Engineering Ltd
Precision engineered components
Langford Lodge Engineering Ltd
Precision engineered components
McGill Corporation (Europe) Ltd
Sound proofing systems
Maydown Precision Engineering Ltd
Moyola Precision Engineering Ltd
Tools and jigs
Northern Ireland Technology Centre
Springs and wire shapes
Thales Air Defence Ltd
TRW Aeronautical Systems Ltd
Engine management software
COMPANIES TAKING PART IN THE TRADE DEVELOPMENT VISIT TO FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW 2002
BASE 2000 Ltd
Getty Connections Ltd
Design and manufacture of cable harnesses
Project Design Engineers Ltd
Process design engineering services