Aerospace office boost unveiled
The international profile of Northern Ireland's aerospace, defence and security companies could be raised by a new project.
The UK's AeroSpace, Defence and Security trade organisation, ADS, was at the Farnborough International Airshow on Wednesday to unveil its plans for a Northern Ireland office.
The scheme, operating in association with Invest Northern Ireland, will aim to develop the sector by raising awareness of local companies' manufacturing and technological capabilities.
The office will be hosted by Bombardier in Belfast.
The scheme's organisers pledged to bring together leaders from major global companies, along with successful indigenous businesses, plus academics, to decide policy and give direction to the ADS Northern Ireland team.
Chairman of ADS Ian Godden said: "I am delighted to formally announce the launch of our Northern Ireland office.
"The UK is number one in Europe and second only to the US globally in aerospace and defence, with the sectors that we represent combining to employ 500,000 people and generate over £60 billion per year to the UK economy.
"The underlying reason for this strength is the diversity of its supply chain from the largest to the smallest companies and Northern Ireland is a perfect illustration of this.
"There are a great number of opportunities for businesses to enter the supply chain in Northern Ireland as well as for businesses based there who wish to access ADS services to boost their own exposure to UK and international trading opportunities."
The team will be led by Director of ADS Northern Ireland and Scotland Ian Watson, chaired by David Beatty of Thales UK and managed by Dr Leslie Orr.