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Groundbreaking Ceremony Marks Start of Boeing-Led Research Project in South Yorkshire

by Anna

Industry, academia, and government leaders gathered in Sheffield for the groundbreaking ceremony of the University of Sheffield’s AMRC innovation facility and research project led by Boeing. The Composites at Speed and Scale (COMPASS) research facility will house the Boeing-led Isothermic High-Rate Sustainable Structures (IHSS) project, focusing on developing and testing new technologies for lighter commercial aircraft to meet the aviation industry’s net-zero commitment by 2050.

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The £80 million COMPASS facility and IHSS project, a collaboration with Loop Technology and Spirit AeroSystems, are jointly funded by industry, key stakeholders, and the UK Government’s Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme. The initiative is expected to create around 50 jobs initially, with the potential to create up to 3,000 long-term jobs and around £2 billion annually in export opportunities.

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The project aims to leverage the strengths of industry, academia, and government to develop production technologies, foster collaboration, and unlock the economic potential of South Yorkshire. The facility, expected to be complete by the end of 2024, will focus on composites and automation capabilities to de-risk the development and manufacture of high-rate, large-scale composite parts.

Boeing’s commitment to investing in innovations aligns with the goal of meeting future demand for commercial air travel while supporting decarbonization efforts. The collaborative effort is seen as a transformative investment in the UK’s aerospace sector and South Yorkshire’s aerospace cluster. The ATI, which has committed £29.5 million to the project, emphasizes the importance of supporting aerospace companies in developing cutting-edge composite technologies and anchoring manufacturing in the UK.

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