As we come to the end of 2016 it is appropriate to reflect on what that year has meant for the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) and our members. Over the course of the last 12 months we have achieved the following for our members in each of the three key areas of our business;
Promoting – We have delivered our four main events; the New Talent Awards, the Annual Conference, Farnborough International Air Show and the new Aerospace Ball with excellent feedback from our members. These four events are now firmly rooted in our calendar and we will build on their success going forwards. In addition to these key events we have also delivered Member Forums, Supply Chain Workshops and our events with the Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster. We have delivered fantastic business networking opportunities and have been able to bring global customers such as AIRBUS, BAE Systems, Boeing, Leonardo Helicopters, Rolls-Royce and Safran to speak to our members. We have also engaged with our members through our electronic publication, Express News, which has been sent out to 7,000 industry professionals. The pages of our web site, which many professionals use to research our members, have been viewed over 80,000 times. And, finally, Plane Talk itself is still our most important method of promoting our Members.
Developing – NWAA completed the Aerospace Growth Partnership’s Employer Skills Programme in 2016 working with AIRBUS, GKN and Rockwell Collins. NWAA focused on helping UK companies to improve their Project and Risk Management capability and received excellent feedback from the beneficiary companies. NWAA continued to deliver the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) during 2016 supporting North West aerospace companies to access £3.2 Million of funding supporting their technology development.
Shaping – During 2016, and on behalf of our members, we have made significant contributions towards both regional and national strategic initiatives. At the regional level we have supported Lancashire Enterprise Partnership with advice on the inward investment strategy for the new Enterprise Zones at Samlesbury and Warton. We were also delighted to host Lancashire Enterprise Partnership on our stand at Farnborough International Air Show and to introduce them to our global network. On a national level, I have represented the Regional Aerospace Alliances and their members on the board of the Aerospace Growth Partnership and within the Skills and Supply Chain working groups. NWAA believe it is important that the views of hundreds of smaller companies are represented in the development of industrial strategy and we continue to do so to the best of our abilities.
Of course, 2016 is going to be remembered by most readers for what Harold Macmillan would have described as ‘Events, dear boy, events’, and specifically Brexit and the Trump election. NWAA has been working through the summer to understand the impact of Brexit and what that might actually mean for our sector. Furthermore, and contrary to many media reports, Her Majesty’s Government has been working with us to understand the issues affecting the aviation and aerospace industries and we are confident that HMG are taking those issues seriously. Perhaps understandably, the impact of the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America is far less understood to date. Whilst we will try to take stock of what these changes mean to our members, and we will keep you updated on any developments, we will continue to try to focus on what we can influence through our three core competencies; promoting, delivering and shaping.
2016 has been a year that no one could have forecast; but you can bet on our ‘events’ being excellent in 2017.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
During this very busy year I have managed to visit a number of members, if you would like me to visit your site in 2017, and help me get to know your company better, please do not hesitate to get in touch.