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R&D boost

Boeing-backed research centre opens in Renfrew

Keith Ridgway, NMIS cxecutive chairman; Minister Ivan McKee; Sir Martin Donnelly, president of Boeing Europe 

A huge boost to R&D was marked with the official opening of the Metallics Research Centre with Boeing at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).

The centre in Renfrew will see the delivery of Boeing’s £11.8 million R&D programme in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the NMIS Group. 

It aims to reduce materials waste and identify opportunities to improve safety, productivity, and the environmental impact of its aircraft.

Technical teams from Boeing and NMIS are exploring novel manufacturing technologies for metallic components, building on over a decade’s worth of R&D with the University of Strathclyde and the AFRC, where Boeing is a founding partner. 

Part funded by Scottish Enterprise, the programme is the first initiative within the Boeing Scotland Alliance, which is exploring opportunities to work together in Scotland, with the aim of doubling Boeing’s supply chain and creating 200 new quality jobs in the next five years.

The new R&D facility will also house cutting edge manufacturing equipment for use across NMIS projects with other innovative manufacturing businesses across the country, bolstering the support already provided through its specialist technology centres the AFRC and its Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC).

In the adjacent manufacturing district site, construction is continuing on the new NMIS headquarters set to open later next year, which will include a skills academy, collaboration hub and digital factory. 

Trade Minister Ivan McKee said: “As we recover from the coronavirus pandemic it is vital government and industry innovate together to build a stronger, fairer and more sustainable economy. This project shows our £75 million investment in NMIS is already delivering on that ambition.

“Aviation and aerospace have a crucial role to play in fighting climate change. We are committed to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change and, critically, ensuring we do that in a way that is just and fair for everyone.”



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