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Industry Experts Identify Innovation for Aerospace Transformation

Globalisation, manufacturing, automation, connectivity and technological advancements to frame Global Aerospace Summit

28 November, 2015 – Dubai, UAE:  As the UAE celebrated innovation week, global aviation and aerospace industry leaders have identified key innovation areas they believe will transform the aviation, aerospace, defence and space industries in the near future.

The leaders – members of an elite advisory board for next year’s Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi – say the engines behind innovation will be globalisation, automated manufacturing, heightened connectivity and break-neck speed technological advancements.

Jeff Johnson, Vice President - Business Development, Boeing Military Aircraft, explained that major breakthroughs will drive the industry over the next 10 years. He added that for organisations like Boeing it will be about getting more for less and breaking the cost curve. For Johnson, the key questions facing the 1,000 invited industry leaders due at the Summit next March are the use of new materials, the impact of automation, increased platform commonality and how open avionics can drive capabilities while the platforms keep costs down.

Johnson commented: “We will continue to see manufacturing overseas and we believe we’ve got a great strategy here. The government of the UAE has planned where it wants to go with aerospace manufacturing and space. You go over to India and they have a ‘Make in India’ strategy so I think we are going to see manufacturing and tech transfer that will drive globalisation in the next 10 years.”

David P. Hess, Senior Vice President, Aerospace Business Development, United Technologies, pinpointed increased productivity and workforce development as transformational areas.

Hess commented: “A good example of this is the new automated assembly line that we have developed to build our new gear tripod fan family of engines. With the new assembly line we have roughly 30% more productivity that we had with the old method of manufacturing engines. So it’s innovations like that, not just in design but in manufacturing technology, that allows us to be more productive.”

Chafik Hilal, VP/MD, Business Development, Middle East, Turkey & Africa, Rockwell Collins explained the aerospace industry has always been a catalyst for innovative strategies and technology and an engine for economic growth but highlighted future challenges including costs, the development rate time and even the life of the air planes.

Hilal commented: “One of the things that will take this to the next level is connectivity. Right now passengers want the ability to arrive and transit through the airport and get in the air as fast as they can and this is part of the innovation I can see for the future – connectivity - where they get in and in a very short time are flying. And once they are on the flight they want to be connected like they were on the ground. This is a very exciting time and we will see it in the very near future.”

Hosted by Mubadala Development Company and organised by Streamline Marketing Group (SMG), the Summit will run at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on March 7 and 8,

Nick Webb, Managing Partner of SMG said Summit outcomes will be a window into the vital industries of the future.

“The advisory board has been unanimous in identifying innovation as the summit’s overall theme and believe its discussions will give us a road map for industries whose advancements will impact their own sectors, but feed out into others.”

The Global Aerospace Summit 2016, the third in the biannual series,  is part of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Aviation and Aerospace Week, which is held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

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