Challenge. Collaboration. Coinnovation

By Bethan Lauder

Event: 4 November 2019

Innovative SMEs and Academics Deliver Technology Solutions With the Support of Industry and Government

The achievements of small businesses, world-class universities and academic researchers who have undertaken research and technology projects aligned with Airbus' business needs were acknowledged and celebrated at an event at the Airbus site in Newport.

The projects are funded through Airbus Endeavr Wales, with the ongoing support of the Welsh Government and Airbus and the research expertise of Cardiff University. Currently, the research areas of particular interest include digital services, secure connectivity and artificial intelligence.

Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said:

"With Endeavr support, Cardiff University is undertaking early stage exploration into the feasibility of using Ammonia as a source of fuel. If successful, this would have a massive impact on reducing carbon emissions and be a world first opportunity for Wales. Decarbonisation is a cornerstone of the Welsh Government's Economic Action Plan and is key to our commitment to tackle climate change through reducing emissions by 80% in 2050.

"The Welsh Government is incredibly proud to be supporting Airbus and Cardiff University in their work with other universities and SMEs across Wales – delivering world-class research projects that address global challenges faced by industry. In a fast-changing world of automation; cyber threats; artificial intelligence and space exploration, we need to not only keep pace with technology but to think beyond to future technologies yet to be unlocked – Endeavr provides a sound platform for that."

To date, over £20 million has been invested in more than 70 projects and a further £14 million is committed to the programme over the next 3 to 5 years. This includes the £8 million commitment, made earlier this year, to research projects focused on cyber security and industrial control systems. It is estimated that these investments have already leveraged more than £100 million into the Welsh economy.

Katherine Bennett CBE, Senior Vice President of Airbus, said:

"I am delighted to be able to celebrate the work of Endeavr with colleagues from across business and academia today. Without our industry-leading partnership with the Welsh Government, this outstanding co-operation would not have been possible.

"Airbus Endeavr Wales is a sign of how seriously we take our responsibility to incubate, scale up and adopt Welsh technologies for the benefit of Wales and the wider industry.

"In this, our 50th year, our commitment at Airbus to innovation, design and manufacturing remains as strong as ever."

During the event, attendees will hear from SMEs and academics about some of the ground-breaking research that they have undertaken. Airbus will share insights into innovations in the area of sustainable aviation; including autonomy, electrification, manufacturing and fuel.

The research community will showcase their work across a wide range of technologies and research areas including cloud-based digital tools for advanced design modelling and simulation and cyber security risk management.

Professor Colin Riordan, President and Vice Chancellor, Cardiff University added:

"Airbus Endeavr Wales has given Cardiff University the opportunity to work closely with SMEs and other universities on the many challenges faced by industry; ensuring that academic research is swiftly translated into practical solutions that can be adopted by the Airbus supply chain and implemented across the industry.

"Endeavr is not just about funding. Through this initiative, our community of researchers interact with the Airbus research and technology teams in the UK and in France, Germany and Spain. We get to understand the technology roadmaps and technological challenges and are better placed to respond to market requirements."

Looking forward, Endeavr is working with Airbus, SMEs and academics to shape the development of a further fourteen projects, including new research with Cardiff University's Morgan Botti Lightning Lab. Following the event, attendees will be encouraged to come forward with more ideas and project proposals to help meet future needs.

John Davies, Managing Director of Pervade Software, Head of the Cyber Wales eco system and SME representative for Airbus Endeavr Wales concluded:

"With the support of government, Endeavr brings together industry, business and academics, inspiring innovation and driving forward technological change."

Photograph shows (left to right):

Photograph from Airbus Endeavr event in November 2019

John Griffiths AM, Newport East

Katherine Bennett, Senior Vice President, Airbus UK

Colin Riordan, President and Vice Chancellor, Cardiff University

Karen Thomas, Site Director, Airbus UK and Director of Airbus Endeavr Wales

Lee Waters AM, Deputy Minister for the Economy and Transport




Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018, it generated revenues of € 64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world's leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

Welsh Government

The Welsh Government is the devolved Government for Wales. It works to help improve the lives of people in Wales and make our nation a better place in which to live and work.

The Welsh Government consists of the First Minister, Welsh Ministers, the Counsel General, and Deputy Ministers. They are supported by civil servants who work across devolved areas that include key areas of public life such as health, education and the environment.

The Welsh Government is one of the few governments in the world that publishes Cabinet minutes and papers.

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain's leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK's most research intensive universities. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework ranked the University 5th in the UK for research excellence.

Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the wined of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University's breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Services; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to pressing global problems. More at:

Airbus Endeavr Wales

This not-for-profit company is a joint initiative between Airbus and the Welsh Government, supported by Cardiff University. It commissions SMEs and academics to work on early-stage research and technology projects, taking ideas through to proof-of-concept – the point where commercial value can be realised. More at:

Published: Monday, 4 November 2019

Image: Stakeholder Event November 2019