The UK can expect increasing competition in composites manufacturing from Spain as that country substantially increases its government support for the aerospace sector, according to European research officials.

This competition was predicted on 23 April by European Commission aeronautics research unit head Liam Breslin at the Royal Aeronautical Society's The Way Forward, Aerospace 2008 conference.

At the event the UK government's technology strategy board chief executive Iain Gray said that the board had provided £227 million ($453 million) of the £464 million spent on the UK's aerospace research from 2004 to 2007.

But Breslin said that "Spain could compete with the UK in composites soon", adding that the EC was also seeing substantial increases in government support and research and development spending in France and Germany.

German Aerospace Centre president Joachim Szodruch, also at the conference, said that Germany was seeing increases at federal and state government levels. The UK government-supported next-generation composite wing project is expected to be officially launched on 14 May

Source: Flight International