Spirit opens R&D centre in Prestwick, Scotland


Spirit AeroSystems has officially opened its Aerospace Innovation Centre in Prestwick, Scotland for the research and development of advanced materials, digital manufacturing technologies and processes.

The £25 million (US$34 million) Aerospace Innovation Centre (AIC) will host projets that work with with other companies and academic partners. Scott McLarty, senior vice-president and general manager – Airbus, Spirit AeroSystems, said,  “For innovation to occur, we need a diverse range of ideas and collaboration from a number of areas across the spectrum of research and development.

“As one of the UK’s leading Aerospace companies, Spirit Europe is proud to establish a collaborative space where we, with our partners in industry and education, will work together to develop new technologies that are competitive and sustainable for aerospace platforms of the future.”

The 90,000 square foot innovation centre on the Spirit Europe campus in Prestwick is capable of manufacturing components of up to 20m (65ft)  in length. It features 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space, a materials lab, and office and conference space to accommodate over 200 people.

The Scottish Government has also invested almost £5 million (US$7 million) in the AIC.

“This is an exciting time for advanced manufacturing in Scotland and Scottish Enterprise looks forward to working closely with Spirit AeroSystems, their partners and manufacturers across the country to make the most of the opportunity this centre creates to develop new ideas, products and sustainable jobs,” said Adrian Gillespie, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise.

The AIC is already facilitating more than 20 industry and academic collaborations, working to deliver Spirit Europe’s and its partners’ ambitions.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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