Purpose – To determine the views of a distinguished member of the engineering community about the state of engineering R&D in the UK and how the various issues are being addressed. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on an interview with Philip Ruffles CBE, Main Board Director for Engineering and Technology for Rolls Royce, until his retirement in 2001. Findings – Traces the origins of today's problems to rapid and uncontrolled cost‐cutting and change in the 1980s and 1990s, which opened up gaps in R&D. Also looks at some positive developments such as a greater focus on customers' needs, the fostering of relationships between industry and academia, university spin‐outs and development of science and technology parks. Recognizes recent government initiatives and suggests that continuing economic development should encourage industry to invest and adopt a longer‐term approach. Originality/value – Outlines some of the concerns expressed as to the state of engineering R&D in the UK.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2005
Keywords: Industrial engineering; Research and development; United Kingdom
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