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The Aerospace Technology Institute’s (ATI) Corporate Development Officer Malcolm Scott, Chief Technology Officer Dr Simon Weeks, and Chief Strategy Officer James McMicking were in Le Bourget last week attending the Paris Air Show – and braving the extreme heat of a Parisian summer. This year was the 52nd Paris show, and as always it produced a great gathering of the global sector.
For the ATI, it was all about meetings and networking, raising our profile, and talking about the future against the backdrop of all the latest technology the sector has to offer.
Paris allowed us to connect both with global and UK organisations – new and existing partners. Highlights included meeting Dr Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for Aeronautics at NASA, and members of his team. It was great to meet Dr Shin face-to-face; he is also one of our keynote speakers at the ATI Conference 2017: Realising Ambition in November at the NEC in Birmingham. Another coup was to meet Embraer, one of the top four global aerospace companies – a new relationship for the ATI.
A great tradition of Paris is the first day reception at the British Ambassador’s residence. This year, we were able to meet new BEIS Minister Richard Harrington; he announced the newly ATI-funded £8 million NATEP programme. To be delivered by ADS, NATEP will provide funding and mentoring support to aerospace supply chain companies collaborating with partners on innovation projects.
Over the week, we clocked up meetings with global leaders including Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Bombardier, Thales, Honeywell, GKN, and Spirit. Delving further into the supply chain, we met Hexcel, and Crane – both inward investors in the UK. And we sought out our partners from around the UK – the Regional Aerospace Alliances in England and the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The ATI, in collaboration with the Aerospace Growth Partnership, is determined to strengthen these relationships, using events such as Paris and the recent LEP and DA conference in Leamington Spa.
Since the world comes to Paris for the show it was also a great opportunity to see some of our international partners – the NRC and CARIC from Canada, ZAL from Hamburg, NLR from Holland, and of course Onera from France, playing at home. The show also saw the launch of the new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) from the Advisory Committee on Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE), which the ATI has contributed to significantly.
Malcolm Scott said: “The International nature of the Paris Air Show offers an opportunity to hear a global perspective of the aerospace market and get a real sense of where the UK sector fits within that. It also brings an opportunity for the Institute to meet companies that we’ve not previously met”.
“The ATI’s objective for attending events such as the Paris Air Show is always about creating opportunities for UK aerospace companies”, said Dr Simon Weeks. “Meeting with organisations outside of the UK gives the Institute an opportunity to reflect on the latest global developments and recognise potential areas of collaboration – as well as encouraging inward investment and identifying global opportunities for our supply chain”.