BAE Systems and the Welding Institute (TWI) have signed an agreement designed to drive innovation, skills and training across UK industry.
The two organisations will embark on a number of joint studies and research programmes designed to help innovation across current and future aircraft programmes. New technologies that could be applied in the development of a Future Combat Air System will be central to this work with the aim of enabling rapid innovation.
The agreement will also see BAE Systems support TWI with its ambitious growth plans, which include the potential development of a number of new regional centres for excellence, one of which could be located on the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone in Lancashire alongside BAE Systems manufacturing hub.
Dave Holmes, manufacturing director and recently appointed president of TWI, BAE Systems, Air, said: “The UK has been a pioneer in air power for more than 100 years. It’s essential that we retain our world leading position when we look to the next 100. Faced with fast developing technology and an increasingly competitive global landscape, collaboration and fast deployment of innovation will be essential.
“Our new agreement with TWI – one of the world’s leading professional engineering institutes – will help deliver this. It is the latest in a number of collaborations we have agreed across academia and business that will help us, and the UK, deliver more capability, more quickly, maximising investment”.
TWI chief executive Aamir Khalid added: “A core aim of our organisation is to promote the advancement of knowledge across our core focus areas of welding, joining and allied industries. The combat air sector is an important one for our membership, one that is at the forefront of jobs, skills, investment and innovation.
“This new agreement will help drive development in the areas that matter most to us and play a role in securing the long term future of our members, now and in to the future.”
Both organisations have a long-standing pedigree in manufacturing and material research, with an international customer base spanning multiple industries. Having worked together for more than 50 years, the two companies have built up a trusted working relationship with TWI providing expertise in everything from design to production and ongoing support across BAE Systems maritime, land and air sectors. The agreement underpins a conscious effort to increase collaboration across industry.