GKN Aerospace has ‘broken ground’ on a 10,000m2
UK Global Technology Centre (GTC) in Bristol and secured 25 collaboration partners.
The new GTC — funded by a £17 million commitment from GKN Aerospace and a £15 million commitment from the UK Government, through the ATI Programme (Aerospace Technology Institute) — is expected to open in 2020 and is GKN Aerospace’s largest UK technology investment to date.
It was announced in December 2018 as part of a record annual technology spend of £75 million by GKN Aerospace, alongside the UK Government’s Aerospace Sector Deal.
The concept of an inclusive environment to foster innovation and technical skills development is proving to be successful, with universities, the UK’s Catapult network, GKN Aerospace’s UK supply chain, start-ups and large industrial companies joining GKN Aerospace (www.gknaerospace.com
) before the actual opening.
The centre will focus on additive manufacturing (AM), advanced composites, assembly and Industry 4.0 processes “to enable the high-rate production of aircraft structures”.
The GTC will maintain GKN Aerospace’s position at the forefront of technology development for the next generation of energy-efficient aircraft; it will also serve as a base for GKN Aerospace’s technology partnership in Airbus’s Wing of Tomorrow technology programme, as well as new AM industrialisation programmes.
John Pritchard, CEO Aerostructures and Systems (Europe and Asia), said: “We are proud to have taken the next step in the UK GTC development with our ‘ground breaking’ in April, and we are excited that so many partners have joined us.
Our GTC is designed to support GKN Aerospace’s UK workforce and close collaboration with the world-class UK aerospace ecosystem, building on joint expertise, talent and infrastructure.
It will take aerospace innovation to the next level and ensure that the UK aerospace industry will continue to operate at the forefront of global aerospace.”