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UK Aerospace Research Plant to be Developed

01 March 2011

A total of 6 million will be invested into an advanced composites and engineering centre in Northern Ireland which will help the UK to compete in the industry on a global level.

The research centre in Belfast will be jointly owned by the city's Queen's University and the University of Ulster.

Funding for the venture, which will be called the Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering Centre, will be provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' Strategic Investment Fund, Invest NI and Bombardier Aerospace.

The 3,700 sq metre site will boost the UK's research and development in the aerospace industry and allow companies and academics to work closely with each other to find cheaper and quicker ways to manufacture composite products.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: ""This flagship centre will become the focal point for advanced materials as well as engineering research and development in Northern Ireland. In particular, it will enable the advancement of composites technology across a range of industrial sectors.

""The state-of-the-art facility will offer firms the opportunity to develop technologies that will maintain their competitiveness and support their future business needs.""

Michael Ryan, Vice-president and General Manager at Bombardier Aerospace Belfast, said: ""This industry-led technology centre will not only help us to further develop our own R&D activities, and those of our local aerospace supply chain, but it will enable Northern Ireland's high-value engineering and manufacturing sector to develop its capabilities, move up the value chain and compete on a global stage.""





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