Aerospace has a strong track record of successful UK-Japanese collaboration and is also a key high value added industry. Its success is important for the economic performance of both countries, Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Sir John Rose said today in a keynote address at the UK-Japan Aerospace Forum 2007 in Tokyo.
“We believe that, by working together, UK and Japanese industries can address today’s global challenges far more effectively than on their own. By exchanging information and examining our joint capabilities and research, we expect to identify new opportunities for collaboration,” he said.
The Rolls-Royce Trent, the engine that will power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner when it enters service with ANA (All Nippon Airways) in 2008, is one of the most significant Rolls-Royce collaborative programmes, and a good example of successful co-operation programmes between the UK and Japan. KHI, MHI, IHI and Sumitomo Precision, are playing a critical role on the Trent engine programmes and thousands of Japanese design and production specialists are now working on the Trent.
Sir John said that Japan and the UK were both highly developed economies, which share a common strategic vision of focusing on high value added activities. This helps both countries succeed in an increasingly competitive global economy.
The fact that the conference is focusing on two nations half a world apart is clear evidence of the increasingly global nature of the world economy. Information can be exchanged with increasing speed and frequency and, as a consequence, geographical separation matters much less. That is why collaboration has become the accepted way of doing business, said Sir John.
Last year, Rolls-Royce reached an agreement with Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science to jointly develop and commercialise their latest generation super-alloys to make its aero engines even more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. The relationship with NIMS has been formalised as a Centre of Excellence for Aerospace Materials, which provides the basis for further advances in the future.
Sir John said Rolls-Royce would continue to explore ways to collaborate with Japan – to look for projects which benefit both parties and help meet the global challenges of today.