Aerospace receives £80m boost with new University of Sheffield AMRC innovation facility and Boeing research programme.

An £80m boost to composites research and development for aerostructure manufacturing in the UK has been announced, with a new research facility set to be built in South Yorkshire that has aerospace giant Boeing as its first major research partner. 

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has secured £50m to establish the Compass (Composites at Speed and Scale) facility in Sheffield to enable a groundbreaking research programme with Boeing at the centre. The investment was announced yesterday [July 13, 2023] by UK Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, as part of the South Yorkshire Investment Zone. The facility will complement the existing assets and capabilities we have in the UK for our world-leading aerospace sector.

View the press release

Compass is a major boost to aerospace research and development for the UK, helping solve composites manufacturing challenges needed to meet future demand for lighter commercial aircraft and help the aviation industry reach net zero.

It will be home to AMRC’s largest ever collaborative research and development programme with founder and long-standing member Boeing, which will be in partnership with Spirit Aerosystems and Loop Technology. It aims to de-risk and develop high-rate sustainable structures, with the potential to reduce large component process times from ~40 hours to ~four hours.

On the back of the research, Boeing has committed to procuring in excess of £2 billion of UK-manufactured goods for export per year to support the production of the company’s next civil passenger aircraft — with the potential to create up to 3,000 high-skilled jobs by the mid-2030s. 

Compass builds on the AMRC’s world-class composites and automation capabilities to de-risk the development and manufacture of high-rate, large-scale composite parts, providing wider UK industry with a unique open-access facility to develop, demonstrate, test and validate new composite manufacturing technologies and capabilities.

Compass will help to establish South Yorkshire as the leading R&D centre of excellence in the manufacture of composites at speed and at scale, enabling future production capabilities that currently don’t exist.
Steve Foxley, CEO, University of Sheffield AMRC

View the press release