Northern Ireland aerospace sector unites under Causeway Aero brand
NORTHERN Ireland's aerospace cluster has come together under one brand in a bid to boost sales into some of the world's biggest plane manufacturers.
The network of firms - to be known as Causeway Aero - already form part of the supply chain into companies such as Bombardier and Airbus.
The group brings together BASE, Denroy Plastics, Moyola Precision Engineering, Dontaur Precision Engineering and Hutchinson Aerotech.
Speaking from the Farnborough Airshow where the collaboration was announced Denroy Group chairman John Rainey said the network had already been working together for 16 months "to identify opportunities to add value to potential supply chain partnerships with major aerospace companies by demonstrating how we can help reduce costs and improve flexibility and delivery".
"We are delighted with the interest and engagement of new and potential customers to date," he said.
"As a result of a National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) R&D grant offered by Invest Northern Ireland, we are working to deliver new Aircraft Galley Technology to one of Europe's leading aerospace interior companies.
“Farnborough Airshow is the ideal opportunity to launch this new venture and demonstrate our commitment to work in collaboration to support the continued growth of Northern Ireland's Aerospace supply base.”
Economy minister Simon Hamilton, who is at the airshow, welcomed the partnership.
"Northern Ireland is a global leader in aerospace technology with every major commercial aircraft programme depending on structures, components and expert services from our local supply base," he said.
"Causeway Aero brings together the combined skills, capabilities and experience of a number of our local Aerospace businesses to pursue larger and more complex work packages in the global aerospace industry.
“This exciting new venture aligns with the Northern Ireland Aerospace Partnering for Growth Strategy, where local companies committed to doubling the size of the aerospace sector to £2 billion sales annually and increasing employment from 8,000 to 12,000 by 2024.
“The five Causeway Aero companies are highly successful manufacturers and engineers with world-class expertise in their own specialisms, including sheet metal fabrication, design, tooling, precision engineering and plastics moulding. I am pleased they availed of support from Invest Northern Ireland's Collaborative Network programme. This funding helps companies, academic institutions and other stakeholders to collectively explore ways to scope and exploit opportunities to enhance their competitive edge.
“Causeway Aero offers innovative and cost effective solutions to Aerospace Primes and Tier Ones, and represents a new approach which will strengthen Northern Ireland Aerospace as a whole and at individual company level.”
Leslie Orr, ADS (Aerospace Defence Security) NI manager added: “Farnborough Airshow provides a valuable platform for Causeway Aero to present the capabilities and innovation available from Northern Ireland's supply base to an international audience.
“ADS and Invest Northern Ireland have been working closely with this network of businesses as they pool their resources and expertise to take advantage of opportunities in the international marketplace.”
Stephen Cowan, vice-president, supply chain, Bombardier Belfast, added: “It is vital that we have suppliers that can compete and win business in this high-technology, highly competitive and constantly changing international industry. We therefore support the aims of this new venture to improve the capabilities and competitiveness of the local supply chain. Causeway Aero has the potential to help grow the participant companies at an individual level and achieve greater overall impact through their combined strengths.”
Causeway Aero was offered over £95,000 under the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP), through Invest Northern Ireland's Grant for R&D, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.