Engineering & Aerospace News

£32m global technology centre to open in Bristol

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 12 December 2018 15:41

£32m global technology centre to open in Bristol

A massive multi-million pound centre for aerospace technology is going to be built in Bristol.

The Global Technology Centre, which will be based in Filton, is expected to open in 2020 and will focus on the manufacturing and assembly of aircraft structures.

The £32 million research and development hub is being funded by engineering giant GKN Aerospace and the government’s Aerospace Technology Institute.

The 10,000 square metre centre will be home to 300 engineers who will work with the city’s universities; the government’s innovation network Catapult; and GKN’s supply chain.

The University of Bristol is one of several institutes whose researchers and PhD students will benefit from the opening of the new hub.

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Professor Ben Hicks, director of strategic alliances and head of engineering systems and design at Bristol University, said: “[This] represents an exciting opportunity for all of the university faculties, from engineering and science to arts, social sciences and law.”

The Bristol teams involved in the partnership will include design, manufacturing and robotics researchers as well as data scientists, mathematicians, operations researchers and experts in policy, technology adoption and future workplaces.

Nishan Canagarajah, pro-vice chancellor of research, said: “This initiative will reinforce and extend the region’s capability in advanced manufacturing and provide an important platform for future growth, both of which are key to realising the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

“We will be working closely with our other partners in the region to maximise the value of this opportunity for the city and region.”

The Bristol centre, which will be built on Horizon38 just off the A38, joins a growing list of GKN Aerospace Centres of Technical Excellence around the world.

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Each centre has its own technology focus - covering manufacturing, thermoplastics and smart aero-engine systems.

Chief executive of GKN Aerospace Hans Büthker added: “The Global Technology Centre will ensure we continue to develop new technologies that deliver for our customers, making aircraft more sustainable and economical.

“It will also support our 4,000-strong workforce in the UK, ensuring they remain at the cutting-edge of the global aerospace industry.”

Founded in 1759, GKN is one of the UK’s oldest engineering companies and it has been manufacturing in Filton for over 100 years.

The company makes components for the aerospace sector including Airbus and employs around 1,500 people at its base in Filton and another 300 in Avonmouth.

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