Norfolk SME supports Rolls-Royce Innovation

July 12 2016


11 July 2016

Research and innovation funding from a government-backed public-private sector partnership has helped aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce establish a new advanced manufacturing facility in Bristol.  It is likely to employ as many as 40 people when in full production next year.  The factory, located on its Patchway complex, is part of the company’s SILOET programme, designed to accelerate the development and introduction of low-carbon aircraft engine technology.

The two-year, £4 million project, called ENABLES, had support from the aerospace R&D funding programme, a partnership between the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK.

A notable achievement during the two years of the project up to the end of 2014 was developing the capability to use composite materials to embed electrical harnesses.

The project also involved a Norfolk-based SME called bf1systems which built its reputation in the automotive and motorsport sector and also supplies the aerospace and sports markets.  Justin Dalton, chief project engineer at Rolls-Royce said:  bf1systems benefited from our knowledge and experience of industrialising new technology. bf1systems brought the ability to innovate and rapidly trial ideas for development and manufacture. 

As a result, bf1 systems achieved AS9100 accreditation, the common quality management standard for the aerospace industry. It means that the company, based in Diss, will now be able to supply similar technology to other aerospace manufacturers.

James Welham, finance director at bf1 systems, said:  Initially, we were involved in some of the sub-projects and that widened into assisting Rolls-Royce with some of the industrialisation processes.  The biggest success of the project from our perspective is the accreditation we achieved.

For more information on bf1systems, visit

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