See the 12 MAA highlights of 2023
A great year of working together - Watch our short video and ‘read all about it’.
As the clock ticks down to the end of the year, join us in celebrating 12 of the best MAA moments in 2023. We always enjoy collaborating with our great member companies and partners to champion the Midlands aerospace cluster – one of the largest in the world - and support innovation.
During 2023, we’ve supported 285 members, organised 30 great events, expanded our online community to over 8,500 and have grown the global voice of aerospace in the Midlands.
This year, the aerospace industry has again faced challenges, but we're proud of how supply chains across the region have come together to work through them and create new opportunities.
Watch our short video review of the year here.
1. Inside…Moog event
The year got off to a great start with the latest in our Inside…series of events. Over 60 people from 40 companies enjoyed an exclusive visit to leading aerospace company, Moog, on 18th January.
Senior leaders gave presentations on civil and defence markets, technologies, sustainability, procurement and more. The event also included a tour of the impressive facilities in Wolverhampton.
2. MAA Conference
Around 150 professionals from across aerospace, defence, and complimentary industries, gathered at the MAA Conference on 23rd March for a programme packed with expert insights.
Held in the spectacular surroundings of the RAF Museum Midlands in Cosford, the event explored the latest market trends in civil aerospace; defence market insights; and opportunities in emerging markets including advanced air mobility, nuclear and space.
Thanks to everyone who joined us, and to all the sponsors who helped make the event happen, including Apex Group, Consilium Recruit, FANUC UK, Fischer Instrumentation, Jonathan Lee Recruitment, MJ Sections, MyWorkwear, Pathfindr and Third Wave Systems.
Read key insights from the expert speakers at the conference here.
3. Supporting diversification
The first projects were launched to support aerospace companies with diversifying into complementary industries. This included a partnership with the UK Space Agency (read more here), and with government on drones and advanced air mobility, to support diversification.
4. Summer barbecue
Our third summer barbecue took on a fun ‘wild west’ theme on 25th May. Over 100 members joined us for an enjoyable evening of networking and entertainment at Ansty Hall in Coventry.
5. Aerospace UP success
We celebrated the successful completion of the Aerospace UP programme, with 241 companies and 128 innovation projects supported, and £4.8m direct funding for SMEs.
The three-year programme was delivered in partnership with the University of Nottingham with grant funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
6. Paris Air Show
The MAA had its biggest stand at Paris Air Show, which took place from 19 - 22 June. 19 member companies exhibited alongside us at the heart of the UK Pavilion which received thousands of visitors. This gave companies the chance to showcase their capabilities to a worldwide audience.
The reception we held on the stand drew in a crowd and our networking dinner, held at the restaurant Les Noces de Jeannette in the centre of Paris, was attended by over 100 industry professionals.
At the show, the MAA also signed a partnership agreement with the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI).
Thank you to all the companies that exhibited with us at Paris Air Show including: ASG Group, CloudNC, Darchem Engineering, Dynamic Metals, G&O Springs, Helix, Hempel Special Metals, HR Smith Group, Maycast-Nokes Precision Engineering, MJ Sections, Prince & Izant, Sangha Metrology, Silcoms, Sigma, Spincraft (a Standex International Company), Spotless AI, The Structural Battery Company, VRCO and Wallwork Group. We were also joined by the University of Nottingham.
See all the highlights from Paris Air Show here.
7. Charity Golf Day
MAA member companies came together for some friendly competition on 7th July at Ombersley Golf Club in Worcestershire, raising over £800 for Aerobility. The charity provides once-in-a-lifetime experience flights for terminally ill and disabled people.
Thanks to everyone who donated prizes.
8. Touring leading companies
The Defence & Aerospace Technology Roadshow completed a two-week tour of leading companies across the UK from 26th September, including GKN Aerospace, Leonardo, Marshall Aerospace, Moog Aircraft, Rolls-Royce, Thales and Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.
The roadshow – which we delivered in partnership with Make UK and Dream Marketing – proved a great opportunity to link engineers with challenges to innovative suppliers with solutions.
There were over 700 visitors throughout the tour who met with the exhibitors on board, including Advanced Chemical Etching, bloc digital, Dynamic Aerospace Fabrications, FMT Aerospace, Heller Machine Tools (UK), Mersen, PGM Reball and TLM Laser.
9. Black-tie dinner
Over 220 professionals from every tier of the aerospace industry came together at the spectacular Grand Hotel in Birmingham for our 6th annual black-tie dinner on 21st September.
The event was buzzing from the moment the doors opened as guests took the opportunity to catch up with industry peers, make new connections and grow their networks. They also enjoyed a three-course dinner, entertainment and a keynote speech from MAA Chief Executive, Andrew Mair, in which he highlighted the impressive scale and work of the Midlands aerospace cluster as well as the short and long-term opportunities for growth that are open to companies that invest in the future.
Alongside many familiar industry friends, it was great to welcome eight of the member companies that have joined the MAA since last year’s dinner, including Aerotech Laboratories, Ankit Aerospace, Expleo Engineering, FMT Aerospace, Farsound, Gowling WLG, Metrology Software Products and The Launch Strategist.
Thanks to the main event sponsor – Farsound – as well as the drinks reception sponsors, Beagle Aircraft and Nasmyth. In addition, as always, we are grateful to all the big MAA supporters: Collins Aerospace, ITP Aero, Parker Meggitt, Moog and Rolls-Royce. Thanks also to everyone who donated a prize and took part in the charity raffle which raised £2,930 for Aerobility.
See the highlights and photo gallery here.
10. Advanced Engineering
The MAA championed the Midlands aerospace cluster at Advanced Engineering, the UK's largest exhibition for the manufacturing supply chain, from 1st to 2nd November at the NEC Birmingham. This was just one of the many industry events the MAA supported in 2023. The team networked with members, promoted technology opportunities and highlighted future events.
Andrew Mair took to the stage at the Aero & Space Forum, which was designed to highlight new innovations and case studies to inform and inspire future projects. He shared the latest insights from the Midlands aerospace cluster. In addition, Technology Manager, Frank McQuade spoke about the space industry and funding that is available.
11. Future planning at the AGM
It was great to see around 75 members at our AGM on 16th November, hosted by MJ Sections in the company’s new factory which had been opened earlier the same day by Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street.
We discussed industry forecasts and plans for continuing to work together to support the growth of aerospace in the Midlands.
In addition, as part of the latest election, three new directors were appointed to join our board. Congratulations to Corey Taylor - Head of Commercial, Beagle Aircraft (newly-elected); Craig Fullwood - Operations Director and Co-owner, CCR Forming (re-elected); and Stephen Molloy - Aerospace, Defence and Industrials Director, G&P Quality Management Group (re-elected).
Read more about the event and the three directors here.
12. Our leadership community
At the MAA, we are proud to be supported by senior leaders from 50 member companies across our Board of Directors and three Working Groups, covering business development, technology strategy and operational best practice.
Together, they bring a wide range of experience, knowledge and insights from organisations operating at every tier of the aerospace supply chain. They also contribute to our strategy.
Thank you to everyone who generously gives their time to make a big difference to our region.
There’s even more to come in 2024…
The year may almost be over but our great events continue. We have even more lined up in 2024. Take a look at our event calendar here.
You can already book to join us at the 2024 MAA conference on 21st March and there are just a handful of places left on our next Inside… event on 24th January at leading aerospace company, ITP Aero. Places always fill up fast so do secure yours early!
You’ll also see details of how you can join us at Farnborough Airshow, our next black-tie dinner and various networking events, with more to come soon.
Being an MAA member, you’ll receive free places at some events and discounted places at our major ones. You’ll also access our market intelligence hub, news of business opportunities, industry insights, funding and the chance to promote your company.
Membership starts from just £735 + VAT and, if you join before the end of January 2024, you’ll receive 3 months extra free (worth £180) to get the year off to a great start. You can join here.
Thanks to everyone who got involved in 2023. We look forward to seeing you in 2024!