The plane-making giant, which is the world’s biggest aerospace company and the largest manufacturing exporter in the US, is aiming to double its supply chain in Scotland as a result of the Boeing Scotland Alliance, a new collaboration with Scottish Enterprise.
The partnership is expected to provide significant opportunities for companies, universities and regions across Scotland to benefit the wider economy, and create as many as 200 jobs over the next five years.
It will focus initially on the space, advanced manufacturing and digital technologies sectors, exploring joint sustainability initiatives within aviation which support the Scottish Government’s goal of transitioning to a net-zero economy by 2045.
The alliance will also seek to innovate by reducing manufacturing time, materials waste and energy usage, leading to lower aircraft weight and fewer carbon emissions through greater fuel efficiency.
In 2016 Boeing invested around £100 million in a new fleet of spy planes at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.
'Building strength in Scottish aviation'
Sir Martin Donnelly, president of Boeing Europe and MD of Boeing UK and Ireland, said: “This is a blueprint for Boeing working with suppliers and universities in Scotland, harnessing and contributing to the deep expertise already here in advanced manufacturing.
“Boeing is proud to keep developing new investments and relationships across the UK in our ever-growing partnership. We look forward to new partnerships to come, building on the strength of the impressive Scottish aviation supply chain and excellence in high-tech research.”
One of the initial activities supported by the new tie-up is an £11.8m research and development (R&D) project between Boeing and the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre, part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).
This will see Boeing establish an R&D team to look at metallic component manufacturing as the basis for future aircraft components and will make it one of the first strategic industrial partners for NMIS,
The manufacturing sector in Scotland employs more than 180,000 people and accounts for around half of international exports and half of R&D spend.
David Smith, national opportunities director at Scottish Enterprise, added: “This agreement builds on the existing business activity between Boeing and Scotland.
“Deepening our strategic partnership with one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies will lead to new jobs and increased opportunities for [small businesses], which will directly benefit the people, families, communities and regions of Scotland.”