A personal message from NWAA's CEO, Dr David Bailey:
Reflecting on what the North West Aerospace Alliance has achieved in 2017, my first thoughts take me back to our big 4 events of the year; our New Talent Awards, the NWAA Annual Conference, Paris International Air Show 2017 and of course the NWAA Aerospace Ball. The New Talent Awards in March was another fantastic celebration of the phenomenal new apprentices and graduates entering our industry. Daniel Hogg of BAE SYSTEMS deservedly won the North West’s Best Aerospace and Defence Apprentice Award and £1,000 prize money whilst MBDA Missile Systems were announced as the winners of NWAA’s Business University Challenge receiving £1,500 prize money. I was delighted that the fourth NWAA Annual Conference went from strength-to-strength with some of the best speakers and presentations that we’ve ever had from organisations such as Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Dassault Systèmes and BAE Systems. Those who attended were given incredible insight to global aerospace industry drivers and UK strategy by Colin Smith, Group President of Rolls-Royce and Chair of the Aerospace Growth Partnership. Of course, the North West Aerospace Alliance exhibited at Paris International Air Show 2017 (Le Bourget) with our members during June 2017. The UK pavilion and the NWAA stand, in particular, were exceptionally busy and no one will forget the record temperatures. The NWAA Aerospace Ball took place in October and everyone who attended will have enjoyed the black and white theme, the casino tables and the fantastic band who encouraged us to dance into the small hours.
Of course, we have also run Member Forums with some excellent guest speakers and our popular Supply Chain Workshops where we have come together to discuss the issues that face our industry and more importantly what we can do together to improve our industry. A new event this year was our “Inside Safran Nacelles” where we helped 38 companies to exhibit inside the Safran site at Burnley. NWAA are keen to follow this event with another aerospace customer in 2018. We have also had great success with our revamped Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster where we have introduced a more interactive style workshop which has helped us to better understand how we can support members from the island.
I am also delighted that in 2017 we have again brought together key aerospace customers (BAE Systems, Boeing and Safran Nacelles) and the regions most committed aerospace suppliers to work together to build a world-class supply chain. NWAA is working closely with ADS (our national trade body) to deliver the new National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL) model as part of this new supply chain initiative called “SC21 Competitiveness and Growth”. We have already held a number of steering and user group meetings and have actually started the first company assessments. We are delighted to be supporting ADS in the roll-out of this exciting new national programme and we are proud to be one of the first clusters to adopt the new NMCL model.
On a final note, I hope you have valued the events, exhibitions, communications and programmes delivered by NWAA this year. I hope you have a super Christmas and look forward to seeing you at all of our events in 2018.