Watch and listen to Aerospace UP week

Twenty-two experts talk about the five priorities for the aerospace supply chain in the Coronavirus crisis


 

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From this page you can browse individual recordings or go straight to them.

 

The five priorities over five days at a glance 

  • Monday People: ensuring safe and productive workplaces: safe workplaces, people, employment and hiring
  • Tuesday Finance: ‘re-launch’ support for supply chain companies: cashflow and supply chain, capital, borrowing, public funding opportunities
  • Wednesday Supply chain: developing a resilient supply network: planning your own resilience, strategic resilience
  • Thursday New Business: opportunity creation: MRO markets & Boeing opportunity, diversification into rail, digital marketing
  • Friday Innovation & technology: turning ideas into revenue: SME innovation, Ideas for Aerospace UP R&D projects, new technologies

Click here for a written summary of the key insights.

What was Aerospace UP week?

As part of the Aerospace UP (Unlocking Potential) programme, the University of Nottingham and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance organised a week-long series of virtual meetings, each focusing on one of five aspects of how the Coronavirus crisis is affecting aerospace supply chains, how companies are responding, and how innovation can play an important role in helping companies better manage what are some very significant challenges.

Aerospace UP supports the aerospace supply chain in the Midlands by helping to unlock its potential to be even more innovative. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (funding guaranteed by HM Government), until 2022. It gives SMEs across the Midlands grants and injects the combined expertise of the University of Nottingham, one of Europe's biggest and best aerospace universities, and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA), one of the world's biggest aerospace cluster bodies, to improve their business through innovation in all aspects of their enterprise.

Between March 2020 and June 2020, the delivery team had organised 10 regular Aerospace UP Hours on Thursday mornings. Aerospace UP Week allowed us to go into much more depth, exploring the priorities of Midlands aerospace companies in the current crisis and how we could best help them.  We have invited the whole aerospace community to join us in this time of crisis. People from over 250 organisations have participated in one or more of the meetings. 

Monday 22 June 2020 "People: safe and productive workplaces."

We started by reviewing the priorities of MAA members as revealed by the recent survey, and discussing the wave of workforce redundancies currently been announced. We then discussed the issues with two leading regional SMEs, focusing on how they have kept their workplaces safe for employees as well as productive. (Both companies continued to work at a high rate during the “lockdown” (including making ventilator components). We looked at how dramatic workforce redundancies are changing the labour market, with two recruitment consultancies sharing their experiences. We heard about a scheme to ensure the skills and capabilities that our region has built up over the years are not lost, by giving employees made redundant the best possible opportunity to find new employers in engineering industries. Finally, we learned about the support available to companies from the Aerospace UP programme to address capability issues.

The meeting hosted by MAA Chief Executive Dr Andrew Mair and MAA Director Tony Tinley, Regional Officer, Unite the Union.

Introduction

Support available through the Aerospace UP programme, Christine Koch, Business Development Manager, Institute for Aerospace Technology, University of Nottingham

The priorities of aerospace companies when it comes to promoting safe and productive workplaces -- results of the MAA survey, Andrew Mair

Redundancy announcements so far, Andrew Mair and Tony Tinley

Panel discussion on what SME manufacturers are doing, with Peter Bruch, Managing Director and Co-Owner, AE Aerospace and Sam Handley, Director, Swifttool Precision Engineering

Panel discussion on current labour market conditions in the aerospace industry, with Larraine Boorman, Chief Executive, Optima UK and Matt Harris, Business Director, Gleeson Recruitment

How Talent Retention Solutions can link job-seekers and job vacancies in the engineering industries, with Chris Jarman, Managing Director, Winchester Consulting

Support on attracting new talent available through the Aerospace UP programme and from the University of Nottingham, with Christine Koch, Business Development Manager, Institute for Aerospace Technology, University of Nottingham

Post-meeting networking discussion on whether employers will need to take into account new expectations of staff in terms of the work-life balance

Tuesday 23 June 2020 "Finance: ‘re-launch’ support for supply chain companies"

Tuesday was devoted to “Finance: ‘re-launch’ support for supply chain companies.” We were joined by Robert Thomson, Partner at the consultants Roland Berger.

We started the meeting by reviewing how the Aerospace UP programme can help supply chain companies develop innovative ideas of all sorts. With Robert, we then moved on to examine how the aerospace industry’s Coronavirus financial crisis has unfolded and latest scenarios for the sector’s recovery. We looked at the results of the MAA survey and other research on key financial impacts and issues -- both cash and capital-- for aerospace suppliers. After noting an offer from Grant Thornton to give advice to MAA members, we explained the financial support available from the Invest to Grow Programme and the grants available from the Aerospace UP programme.

Introduction

Introduction to Aerospace UP

How the aerospace industry’s Coronavirus crisis has unfolded, and latest scenarios for recovery, led by Robert Thomson

The MAA survey and other research on key financial impacts and issues, both cash and capital, on aerospace suppliers, with Andrew Mair

Offer to MAA members from Grant Thornton

Financial support available for your business: Nic Thompson, University of Derby on the Invest to Grow Programme

Grants available for your business, Christine Koch, Business Development Manager and Sarah Walker, Aerospace UP Project Manager, Institute for Aerospace Technology, University of Nottingham

End-of-meeting discussion on how the governments of various countries are supporting the aerospace industry, networking

Wednesday 24 June 2020 "Supply chain: developing a resilient supply network"

Wednesday was devoted to “Supply Chain - developing a resilient supply network.” We started by reviewing the priorities of MAA members as revealed by the recent survey, and noting the dramatic reductions in aircraft, engine and parts production currently being announced. We then held a panel discussion with two experts on the strategic management of aerospace companies and the chairman of the MAA Business Development Group on how each of our organisations can make itself more resilient, before reviewing how the Aerospace UP programme can support companies to improve their manufacturing and how they organise production. Our second panel discussion – involving an operations management professor from the University of Nottingham and the two aerospace experts -- looked at issues involved in improving the resilience of the supply chain ecosystem as a whole.

Introduction

The operational challenges facing the Midlands supply chain, and priorities of aerospace companies when it comes to ensuring supply chain resilience -- results of the MAA survey, Dr Andrew Mair, Chief Executive, Midlands Aerospace Alliance

Panel discussion on improving the resilience of our individual organisations, with David Bailey FRAeS Ph.D, Director of Aerospace Consulting Ltd and Chief Executive Officer at Composites UK, Clive Lewis, Managing Partner at Achieving the Difference LLP and Alan Dunbar, Director of Aerospace at Thyssenkrupp Aerospace and Director, Midlands Aerospace Alliance

Support available on manufacturing and production organisation from the Aerospace UP programme, with Christine Koch, Aerospace Technology Institute & Dan Symes, Precision Manufacturing Centre, University of Nottingham

Panel discussion: improving the resilience of the supply chain ecosystem as a whole, with Bart MacCarthy, Professor of Operations Management, University of Nottingham, with David Bailey and Clive Lewis

Post-meeting networking discussion on the importance of procurement strategies, blockchain, the role of the MAA working groups

Thursday 25 June 2020 “New business: opportunity creation.”

Thursday focused on “New business: opportunity creation.” Amid the severe reductions in production volumes currently cascading down the supply chain, we looked at positive business development opportunities from a number of perspectives.

Participants were challenged to help us find new vocabulary for promoting our region’s aerospace prowess during the current period by contributing suitable words in the parallel meeting “chat.”

We started with some fresh ideas for how to increase the attractiveness of our firms to potential customers and partners in the on-line world. We then examined how winning new business ranked in the recent MAA survey into the current priorities of aerospace companies, and we reviewed respondent recommendations for where effort can best be targeted.

The meeting turned to look at market opportunities, some depressed, some more optimistic: aerospace MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul), getting onto Boeing’s supplier directory, and diversifying into the rail industry.

Introduction

The Aerospace UP programme, Christine Koch, Business Development Manager, Institute for Aerospace Technology, University of Nottingham.

How to increase your firm’s attractiveness online, Dr Zsofia Toth, University of Nottingham Business School

Results of MAA survey -- today the results on new business, with Andrew Mair, Chief Executive, MAA

Aerospace MRO markets in the Coronvirus crisis, Richard Brown, Managing Director, Naveo Consultancy

“Boeing supplier discovery:” project to get more UK suppliers approved by Boeing, Chris Gane, Aerospace Specialist, Department for International Trade

Get into rail: opportunities in the rail sector, Rachel Eade MBE, University of Birmingham

Post-meeting discussion, Q&A with Rachel and Chris

Friday 26 June 2020. "Innovation and technology: turning ideas into revenue."

On Friday we focused on “Innovation and technology: turning ideas into revenue.”

We reviewed the Aerospace UP programme, including how its grant allocation system works, and we revealed what supply chain companies have told us are their priorities for innovation during the current difficult period. Our main presentations a) used practical examples to spur participant thinking on the wide variety of innovation projects a programme like Aerospace UP can support, b) looked at opportunities for companies to work on major University-led projects using the example of aircraft electrification, and c) reviewed further funding programmes to which Aerospace UP companies could be introduced.

Introduction

The Aerospace Unlocking Potential programme, Christine Koch, Institute for Aerospace Technology, University of Nottingham

The priorities of aerospace companies when it comes to innovation and technology -- results of the MAA survey, Andrew Mair, Chief Executive, Midlands Aerospace Alliance

Innovation projects -- that can be funded -- for the age of Covid-19, Pamela Farries, Peter Knight, Stan Payne, Technology Managers, Midlands Aerospace Alliance

How Aerospace UP grant funding works, Christine Koch

Exciting opportunities to get involved in the electrification of aerospace, Professor Pat Wheeler, Global Director, Institute for Aerospace Technology, University of Nottingham

Accessing funding for research, Dr Hitendra Hirani, EU Programme Manager, Institute for Aerospace Technology, University of Nottingham

Conclusion to Aerospace UP Week, Christine Koch and Andrew Mair

Post-meeting networking and discussion on what are first points of contact for funding applications, the value of working with MAA and University experts.


Aerospace UP week was produced by Pamela Farries, Peter Knight, Christine Koch, Andrew Mair and Stan Payne. They thank all the participants.