Aerospace future-proofs

Posted on 22 Jan 2010 by The Manufacturer

Lord Mandelson meets with A|D|S to discuss the importance of supporting long-term, strategic planning between the government and UK industry.

The UK aerospace industry is worth £20bn per year to the economy, employing more than 100,000 people across the country. Over the next 20 years the global market is estimated to be worth $3.1trillion — it is therefore vital that Britain seeks to promote global competitiveness for the sector, as well as ensuring the continuity and effective spending of R&D funding. This is to be done through the development of a common approach between industry and government to ensure sustained investment, and to enable industry to invest in future design capability.

In the meeting, Lord Mandelson said that he recognised the importance of the UK industry to the British economy, and the need for companies to be able to compete in the global market. He also acknowledged that with pressure on R&D funding, it is critical that long-term consideration ensures that every pound is well spent.

As a result of the meeting, Lord Mandelson has agreed to co-chair regular high-level dialogue between the most senior levels of government and industry, specifically to focus on the themes of global competitiveness and continuity of capability through efficient R&D funding.

Alex Dorrian, president of A|D|S and CEO of Thales UK, said, “The aerospace industry is a jewel in the crown of the UK economy, and a cooperative approach with Government is essential to preserve this. Our industry is fortunate to work with Lord Mandelson, who understands our industry, and I am encouraged by his swift decision to set up a specific forum to focus on these important issues and to commit his own time to driving a coordinated action-plan.”

A|D|S was represented at the meeting by:

* Alex Dorrian – A|D|S president & chief executive, Thales UK
* Sir John Rose – chief executive, Rolls-Royce
* Sir Kevin Smith – chief executive, GKN
* Tom Williams – executive vice president, Airbus
* Michael Ryan – vice president & general manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast
* Alberto de Benedictis – chief executive, Finmeccanica UK
* Sarah Macken – director public affairs and strategy, A|D|S