Edinburgh aerospace company Leonardo will see intellectual property play vital role in economic recovery

A new independent report has highlighted the important role that UK-generated intellectual property (IP) will play in the nation’s economic recovery, with an aerospace engineering employer in Edinburgh playing a major role.

Leonardo's AW159 is in service with the British Army and Royal Navy
Leonardo's AW159 is in service with the British Army and Royal Navy

The independent analysis released by group Oxford Economics highlighted the important role that UK-generated intellectual property (IP) will play in the nation’s economic recovery and has shown that high-skilled employees of Leonardo, which employs more than 2000 people in their Edinburgh site are 80 per cent more productive than the UK average largely as a result of the IP generated by the company’s highly-skilled engineers in the UK, which can then be traded globally.

As well as the team located at the Crewe Toll site, Leonardo also employ 7500 individuals across the UK.

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The company produces the UK’s AW159 Wildcat and AW101 Merlin helicopters and is at the heart of some of the country’s most advanced defence electronics developments.

These include the world beating new ECRS Mk2 radar for RAF Typhoon aircraft and being one of the founding UK members of the Tempest programme, which is developing the successor to Typhoon, which will go into service in 2035.

The company is also working with the Ministry of Defence to understand Britain’s aspirations for next-generation military helicopter technologies, including drones, and is proposing a UK-built AW149 troop-transport helicopter to replace the RAF’s Puma fleet when the latter goes out of service.

Producing the UK’s next military helicopter on-shore is seen as a way of preserving high value design and manufacturing jobs and boosting the economy, with every £1 invested in Leonardo putting £2.40 back into the local economy.

Norman Bone, chair and managing director of Leonardo in the UK said: “Creating IP in this country keeps people employed in high-value jobs by generating exports, which is incredibly important as we kick-start the economy.

“Ours are some of the country’s most stable jobs; we elected not to furlough anyone during the Covid-19 crisis, which has had a knock on benefit for our local economies. The important thing is that the UK government continues, alongside us, to invest in Britain’s high-tech engineering sector as we work towards economic recovery.”

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