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    NAA Update: Welcome to one of our biggest newsletters ever, and also to many new members from the North West and from Yorkshire & Humber

    Welcome to the April newsletter, which shows that there is a LOT of automotive activity, growth and good news in our region (please take the time to scan down this edition!), and a warm welcome to our new members since our last newsletter: GEFCO, KDAB (UK) Ltd, K&M Precision Engineering, MES (NW) Ltd, all from the North West; Nidec S R Drives Ltd, based in Yorkshire; and SMS Sigma, a company which is based outside of our region altogether…

    We hope that the association of all the above new members with the NAA is a long and happy one and we look forward to introducing these companies to other members at our networking meetings, such as the recent tour of Ginetta, which proved to be a very interesting and enjoyable event.

    I hope that you have all remembered to book onto our next meeting at Mini Gears on 28th April, and the May networking meeting has now gone live, which will be a visit to Vodafone Automotive at Burnley.

    Following the positive feedback about our issue of information in 2015 about the North West Automotive Supply Base being responsible for investments of over £7.5 million and over 230 new jobs during 2014 ( we are now updating the information to demonstrate the success that our SMEs had in 2015, with the intent of launching it at Automechanika. Our stand at Automechanika is now full and I’m pleased to announce that Tecconex from Keighley won the panel that was available to those from Yorkshire who participated in our survey that was conducted in Yorkshire & Humber in February and March this year.

    If you haven’t done so already, please register for Meet the Buyer at Automechanika (see article below), as 75% of the slots have now been taken.

    We are working in conjunction with UKTI and the Korean equivalent of UKTI for an event at Automechanika. They are bringing a large delegation of companies with them to visit Automechanika, so if you are interested in doing business with Korea, either selling or buying products – remembering that they have both car and truck manufacturers plus associated supply chains – then please contact me.

    I am pleased to announce that as part of a consortium led by the Institute of Spring Technology we have been successful in securing money for a collaborative R&D feasibility study; we will feature more on the project in future issues.

    Yesterday I read the 2016/7 plans for Innovate UK, they are undergoing significant change and moving away from their platform approach to having four sectors with each sector having two competitions a year. There will be an IDP13 in Q3 but the value has yet to be confirmed; but I suspect that it will be lower than before. There will also be two manufacturing and materials competitions, one in May for <£13m and one in November for <£15m. The focus for both competitions is 6-36 month innovation projects that apply digital technologies to manufacturing and materials in new ways, determine the feasibility of novel manufacturing and materials concepts and/or sources of revenue from manufacturing, or that address cross-sector manufacturing and materials demands. Now is the time to start considering what potential projects you would consider for any of these, or for the next APC call, so that you can be certain to have a strong consortia that has well researched the project and prepared an excellent bid. Please contact us if you need any additional support.

    Finally, during the next month we will be relocating from our premises in Goodlass Road; you will see no change in service as the prime way of contacting us continues to be via email and mobile phone – if you have misplaced them then please go to our website, and on the About tab, you will find a list of staff members and our contact details; or send anything to and it will be forwarded to the correct person; this mailbox is checked regularly, at least twice daily.

    Don’t forget that 23rd June is National Women in Engineering Day, so if you want to focus on something away from the referendum on that day, then start planning how you are going to recognise the day this year – any events held during the week count!

    Please have a review of the other newsletter items below, as there could be something that is of value to your organisation.


    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham