Inderscience Publishers

Proximities, knowledge and skills and the future of the Welsh aerospace industry

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

This paper contrasts proximities, skills and knowledge in the aerospace industry of Wales, UK. It distinguishes between three areas of main strengths and assesses their current and future viability. North Wales represents a vertical production supply chain cluster dominated by an Airbus plant. The industry in South Wales is more fragmented and less embedded in the region, and qualifies as an agglomeration. The advent of composites as the wing material of the future devalues the metal expertise of the north and calls for the development of composite skills. The south builds on a more heterogeneous knowledge base requiring diversified strategies for knowledge development, but should benefit most from fostering composite RDT.

Keywords: Welsh aerospace industry, proximities, tacit knowledge, knowledge development

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