Lyons announces £9m project for local aerospace sector

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today announced a major £9million collaborative research and development project for the local aerospace sector.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons pictured with Rory Collins of the Northern Ireland Technology Center at Queen’s University Belfast.

‘Project SCENIC’ is a collaboration between The Northern Ireland Technology Center (NITC) and a consortium of Northern Ireland aerospace sector companies: RLC UK, Moyola Precision Engineering, JW Kane Aerospace UK and Travan Precision Engineering.

Due to complete by 2023, Project SCENIC will address the gap in titanium and hard metal machining by increasing Northern Ireland’s capabilities to ensure lightweight technologies meet the increasing use of composite materials in the aerospace sector.

Commenting on the importance of Project SCENIC, the Minister said: “Through this powerful collaboration between industry, government and academia, Project SCENIC will establish Northern Ireland as a globally recognised region in the manufacturing of advanced metallic aerospace components and serve to increase the skills and knowledge of the consortium involved.

“It is projects like this which are playing an important part in helping to drive forward the principles highlighted within the 10X Economic Vision. Northern Ireland has real strengths in the aerospace sector and by focusing on innovation in these areas we will strengthen our ambitions and grow our economy for all.”

Invest Northern Ireland has offered Project SCENIC £5million of R&D support, with the remaining £4million offered by the consortium of aerospace companies involved in the project.

Mel Chittock, interim CEO of Invest NI, said:
“To grow our economy, build for the future and ensure that Northern Ireland companies have the right tools in place to increase their global competitiveness, we must support them to innovate and invest in R&D.

“Project SCENIC is one of the largest collaborative R&D projects we have supported and once completed it will give Northern Ireland a strategic advantage and ensure that we are at the forefront of expertise for titanium and hard metal machining within the global aerospace sector.”

Head of the Northern Ireland Technology Centre, Colm Higgins, said: “Project SCENIC will give Northern Ireland a strategic advantage and ensure that we are at the forefront of expertise for titanium and hard metal machining within the global aerospace sector. Collaboration with industry will be enhanced further as part of the new £98million state-of-the art Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre. This is one of the three Queen’s-led Belfast Region City Deal Innovation Centers, which will be a springboard for manufacturing companies to compete internationally.”

Speaking on behalf of the consortium of Northern Ireland companies involved in the project, Engineering Manager of RLC (UK) Ltd and Chair of the SCENIC Steering committee, Chris Beverland, said:
“Since the commencement of the SCENIC project in 2018, through the support of Invest Northern Ireland, it has facilitated the focus on research and development for all the partners. It has enabled the strong collaboration between industrial partners and the Northern Ireland Technology Center through projects such as improved machining strategies and automation. This has accelerated the learning process and contributed the benefits that those improvements have brought. I look forward to continuing to work with Invest Northern Ireland and on the SCENIC project through to its conclusion.”

Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.

Invest NI is committed to driving innovation in Northern Ireland and is a proud partner of Innovate NI, a Department for the Economy programme, helping local businesses innovate successfully. For further information, visit

Notes to editors:

1. The Department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicize its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organizations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet) . Photographs and videos will also be stored on the Department’s internal records management system. The Department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The Department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.

2. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:

Twitter – @Economy_Night

Facebook – @EconomyNI

Skills to Succeed Facebook

Instagram – economy_ni

LinkedIn – Department for the Economy NI

3. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at

4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

Share this page

Leave a Comment