Boeing and NMIS open R&D facility

Boeing and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) have opened a new research and development (R&D) facility next to Glasgow Airport.

The new Metallics Research Centre, in Renfrew’s Westway Park and within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland, is home to an £11.8m R&D programme in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the NMIS Group. The project is supported by £3.5m of R&D funding from Scottish Enterprise.

“As we recover from the coronavirus pandemic it is vital government and industry innovate together to build a stronger, fairer and more sustainable economy,” said Ivan McKee, the Scottish Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, who helped opened the building. “This project shows our £75m investment in NMIS is already delivering on that ambition. Aviation and aerospace have a crucial role to play in fighting climate change. We are committed to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change and, critically, ensuring we do that in a way that is just and fair for everyone.”

Aiming to reduce materials waste and identify opportunities to improve safety, productivity, and the environmental impact of its aircraft, technical teams from Boeing and NMIS are exploring novel manufacturing technologies for metallic components, building on more than a decade’s worth of R&D from the AFRC, where Boeing is a founding partner. 

The project was the first announced in early 2020 as part of the Boeing Scotland Alliance, an agreement between Boeing and Scottish Enterprise that is exploring opportunities to work together in Scotland, with the aim of doubling Boeing’s supply chain and creating 200 new high-quality jobs in the next five years.

On the adjacent manufacturing district site, construction is continuing on the new NMIS headquarters. Set to open late next year, this will include a skills academy, collaboration hub and digital factory.