Spirit AeroSystems inaugurates world-class innovation centre

Spirit AeroSystems (Europe) Limited (UK), a subsidiary of Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc., has celebrated the official opening of its state-of-the-art Aerospace Innovation Centre (AIC) in Prestwick, Scotland in the presence of Scotland’s First Minister, government, customers, and their industrial and academic partners.

Spirit AeroSystems inaugurates world-class innovation centre

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The AIC has been established as a centre of excellence for the research and development of advanced materials, digital manufacturing technologies and processes, where Spirit Europe will collaborate with industry and academic partners to innovate, train and develop skills for today and tomorrow.

“For true innovation to occur, we need a diverse range of ideas and collaboration from a number of areas across the spectrum of research and development. As one of the UK’s leading Aerospace companies, Spirit Europe is proud to establish a collaborative space where we, with our partners in industry and education, will work together to develop new technologies that are competitive and sustainable for aerospace platforms of the future. Today, we are another step closer to achieving our ambition to become a diversified design and manufacturing champion,” said Scott McLarty, Senior Vice-President and General Manager – Airbus, Spirit AeroSystems.

The 90,000 square foot innovation centre on the Spirit Europe campus in Prestwick is capable of manufacturing components of up to 20 metres in length. It features 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space, a materials lab, and office and conference space to accommodate over 200 people. Spirit Europe’s investment of circa £25m, together with almost £5m grant funding from Scottish Enterprise, will help advance technologies and capabilities to develop next-generation aerostructures.

“This investment from Spirit AeroSystems, at a time of considerable challenge for the aerospace sector globally, is an endorsement of Scotland’s engineering and manufacturing capability and it will complement existing facilities, such as the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS). As well as improving the efficiency of aircraft parts, and the way they are manufactured, this facility has the potential to enable growth for industry-leading aerospace innovations and create more high-value manufacturing jobs over the next decade. We are focused on building a stronger, sustainable and inclusive economy, with new, high quality, green jobs, and Scotland’s aerospace sector, with the highly-skilled workforce it employs, is an integral part of that,” said First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.

“The AIC brings together all the key ingredients of innovation: world-class expertise and facilities in a collaborative, diverse and open environment. This is an exciting time for advanced manufacturing in Scotland and Scottish Enterprise looks forward to working closely with Spirit AeroSystems, their partners and manufacturers across the country to make the most of the opportunity this centre creates to develop new ideas, products and sustainable jobs,” said Adrian Gillespie, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise.

More information www.spiritaero.com