WEAF 2022 Yearly Round Up

Published on: 15th December 2022

What’s been happening this year?

This year has seen WEAF celebrate it’s 20th birthday! Can you believe it? Our annual dinner gave us the perfect opportunity to celebrate in style with our members, friends and colleagues. And, going into our 21st year we are pleased (and humbled) to share our achievements over the last year.

After a year full of successes, new members, and celebrations we are thrilled to look back over the past 12 months with the WEAF Review of 2022.

WEAF gets a new look

During January and February we gave the WEAF brand a prestigious face lift. To remain at the forefront of the aerospace industry, and reflect the company growth, we updated the branding, vision and mission to have a more relevant presence and voice. We took the opportunity to evolve the WEAF brand in order to
better communicate the breadth of expertise that truly represents WEAF and realigns with our refined value proposition and vision.

New website launched

May saw the launch of the new WEAF website. Feedback from our members pointed to developing the site and providing something of value to our visitors. While that can be as simple as an interesting new blog post, we also create events, networking opportunities, collaboration opportunities and much more. Although the website is still in its infancy, we are working hard to create the content our members want and need.

WEAF got bigger!

Ok so we’re talking around the waistband here. WEAF took on a new marketing specialist to create cohesion, a consistent message and a strong foundation for future growth. We are now able support brainstorming ideas for marketing campaigns, creating brand messages to improve brand awareness, research (including marketing trends, competition, new products, and pricing) and analysis of data, developing presentations, strategy, and planning. .Growing the team has meant we can give a better service, improved delivery and improve the products and service.

Cross-sector collaboration

May gave us the opportunity to connect and collaborate with different sectors in the WEAF Future Transport Equipment and Technologies Conference. This gave us a platform to tackle issues such as Covid, Brexit, supply chains, spiralling costs of material and energy costs, plus the net zero agenda, sustainable fuel technologies, encourage on-shoring and the digital developments to improve productivity.

A new way to grow your business

Launched at the Farnborough International Air Show, we’re delighted to share with you a new way to grow your business and provide relevant supply chain information. Meet the WEAF Network Portal. This powerful supply chain collaboration and intelligence platform streamlines inter-company communication and securely captures multi-tier supply chain intelligence so that organisations can increase network competitiveness.

This new digital tool not only allows you to locate and connect with suppliers, customers, research and development partners (which will be advantageous when you need seamlessly collaborate) but also connects with the wider regional advanced engineering network to help you find new alternative suppliers.

Cluster groups

June saw the launch of regional cluster groups. These groups have enabled us to update and transfer information that is relevant to each cluster group. The premise of these groups is to enable areas that are geographically close to one another to meet up, share learning and to network. Events are designed to promote even deeper collaboration between these Clusters and provides safe space for members to tackle a broad range of issues relevant to their region. We actively encourage each Cluster to contribute to setting events and information transfer in their ‘region’ so that the content is relevant to members.

Farnborough International Air Show

Not only were we hot, but the footfall was huge! The break of 4-years definitely made the aerospace industry ready for face-to-face contact and raring to discuss what’s new. The WEAF team headed to the FIA with Walker AEC Engineering, Scientific Management International, Itel Electronics, Groveley Precision Engineering, Aeralis, WECA and Heart of the SW LEP joining us on the stand.

Throughout the week, the team enjoyed engagement with a wide range of members, explaining the benefits of the new networking portal and discussing the plans for regional cluster events to onboard them to the system.

Eco-sprint Project

We are absolutely delighted to be involved with the Eco-Sprint Project. The Eco-Sprint project received £1-million and focuses on the aligned sustainability and productivity needs of manufacturing SMEs. The project will combine various cutting-edge technologies into which sustainability intelligence capability will be integrated, including vision intelligence, internet of things sensors, smart manufacturing execution system and a ‘customer portal’ giving foresight of demand


The National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) is a £20m programme to develop 80 aerospace technologies in the UK aerospace supply chain. The Aerospace Growth Partnership developed the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) aimed at small and medium sized suppliers to help them develop their own innovative technologies to enhance their capabilities and increase their ability to win new business with higher tier companies anywhere in the world.

Annual dinner

In December WEAF celebrated the industries achievements and successes at the annual dinner. After three years of no face to face contact, nearly 200 of the Southwest’s Aerospace movers and shakers came together to network, engage and thrive. We also had thee privilege of listening to Richard Browning, founder of pioneering aeronautical innovation company, Gravity. The inventor and entrepreneur, gave an exciting view on innovation and a new way of thinking which was extremely interesting and enlightening.

WEAFs 20th Birthday

Since its inception in 2002, as a partnership between the then South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) and the Regions Primes; Airbus, Rolls Royce, and Leonardo. WEAF has championed the interests of 800+ aerospace and advanced engineering companies across the Southwest, particularly focused on supporting the 700+ small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that help make the Southwest a region of global excellence. Through international events such as FIA International, Regional Cluster events, annual dinners, and its highly successful annual EXPO/Conference, WEAF has served its membership and the region for 20-years.

A successful year for WEAF

Our anniversary marks an incredible milestone that has been achieved through the hard work and dedication of multiple WEAF teams. This year is no exceeption as we have successfully increased our membership and have more exciting tools and tips to launch in the new year – bring on 2023!

WEAF logo
WEAF Website
WEAF at the FIA
Cross-sector collaboration
WEAF Network Portal
Aviation cluster groups
WEAF at the FIA
The 2022 WEAF Annual Dinner
WEAF annual dinner
Become a WEAF member

Would you like to become a WEAF member?

As a WEAF member you will get full access to exclusive and valuable information, plus greater networking opportunities.

Being part of the WEAF community means becoming part of one of the largest aerospace, defence and advanced engineering clusters in Europe.

Joining WEAF will bring you exclusive and valuable benefits in all areas of this fast growing industry.