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Boston startups expand region’s venture capital footprint

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This year has shaken up venture capital, turning a hot early start to 2020 into a glacial period permeated with fear during the early days of COVID-19. That ice quickly melted as venture capitalists discovered that demand for software and other services that startups provide was accelerating, pushing many young tech companies back into growth mode, and investors back into the check-writing arena.

Boston has been an exemplar of the trend, with early pandemic caution dissolving into rapid-fire dealmaking as summer rolled into fall.

We collated new data that underscores the trend, showing that Boston’s third quarter looks very solid compared to its peer groups, and leads greater New England’s share of American venture capital higher during the three-month period.

For our October look at Boston and its startup scene, let’s get into the data and then understand how a new cohort of founders is cropping up among the city’s educational network.

A strong Q3, a strong 2020

Boston’s third quarter was strong, effectively matching the capital raised in New York City during the three-month period. As we head into the fourth quarter, it appears that the silver medal in American startup ecosystems is up for grabs based on what happens in Q4.

Boston could start 2021 as the number-two place to raise venture capital in the country. Or New York City could pip it at the finish line. Let’s check the numbers.

According to PitchBook data shared with TechCrunch, the metro Boston area raised $4.34 billion in venture capital during the third quarter. New York City and its metro area managed $4.45 billion during the same time period, an effective tie. Los Angeles and its own metro area managed just $3.90 billion.

In 2020 the numbers tilt in Boston’s favor, with the city and surrounding area collecting $12.83 billion in venture capital. New York City came in second through Q3, with $12.30 billion in venture capital. Los Angeles was a distant third at $8.66 billion for the year through Q3.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/23/boston-startups-expand-regions-venture-capital-footprint/

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50,000th PT6 engine rolls off Pratt & Whitney’s production line

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50,000th PT6 engine rolls off Pratt & Whitney’s production line

The 50,000th PT6 turboprop engine has rolled off Pratt & Whitney’s production line in the latest milestone for the division of Raytheon Technologies.

With the new PT6 E-Series engine now in full production, powering the Pilatus PC-12 NGX, the numbers continue to grow.

“From the first application more than 50 years ago, the now iconic PT6 engine turns possibilities into realities for our customers around the world on more than 130 different applications today,” said Irene Makris, vice president, sales and marketing at Pratt & Whitney. “With each new model of engine developed and designed for a mission, platform, and customer in mind, our employees continue to build a more efficient, smarter engine with a shrinking environmental footprint– and they continue to rise to the challenge every day.”

The PT6 turboprop engine is the proven choice for demanding, high-cycle/high-power applications in single- and twin-engine aircraft for all kinds of missions and applications. The engine fleet’s current flying population is more than 25,000 units and it has accumulated more than 410 million flight hours and counting–that’s more flying time than anyone else in this segment.

Makris sees the 50,000-engine marker as the opportunity to pause and thank customers and employees for this remarkable accomplishment. It is a testament to the ongoing success of the engine and the innovation behind its ongoing evolution. The most recent example of this being the launch of the PT6 E-Series engine, the first the first turbine engine in the general aviation market to offer a dual-channel integrated electronic propeller and engine control.

“This production milestone is unmatched in the industry. It offers us another opportunity to celebrate the engine’s ongoing success as we continue exploring new horizons for even more flying possibilities,” Makris said. “The achievement sits as the collective cornerstone of Pratt & Whitney in General Aviation. With the PT6 E-Series engine now at the forefront, we remain committed to pushing innovation as we’ve been doing since the very beginning.”

www.prattwhitney.com

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/pratt-whitney-pt6-turboprop-02122020/

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Helicopter sale strengthens GKN Aerospace’s defence portfolio

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Helicopter sale strengthens GKN Aerospace’s defence portfolio

NHIndustries and NAHEMA, acting as the contracting authority on behalf of the German Bundeswehr, have signed the contract for the procurement of 31 NH90 helicopters for shipborne operations.

The contract brings the total order book to 597 rotorcraft. The purchase of the helicopters strengthens GKN Aerospace’s leadership position in the defence industry and reinforces its strategic focus on the market for the future. The contract also means the continuation of hundreds of high skilled jobs in the Netherlands.

GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business began participating in the very successful NH90 programme in the 1990s as one of the founding partners of NHIndustries, together with Airbus Helicopters and Leonardo.

GKN Aerospace designed and manufactures the following lightweight composite solutions for every NH90: empennage; cabin door; landing gear; intermediate gearbox; standard parts.

Michiel van der Maat, vice president countries and campaigns for GKN Aerospace’s defence business said: “We are proud of our continued involvement in the successful NH90 programme. Our participation in NHIndustries allows us to strengthen key relationships with our partners and enables the exchange of expertise and know-how in advanced rotorcraft. GKN Aerospace has been a leader in aerostructures and lightweight technologies for many years and these advanced technologies have made us a great fit within this long-term collaboration, and at the forefront of the defence industry.“

www.gknaerospace.com

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/helicopter-sale-strengthens-gkn-aerospaces-defence-portfolio/

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Construction starts on AMRC North West in Lancashire

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Construction starts on AMRC North West in Lancashire

Lancashire will be a leader in manufacturing innovation and sustainable economic growth, the UK’s regional growth minister said as he welcomed construction starting on the £20m University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in the North West of England.

Luke Hall, Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government, made the comments to mark the first steps in building the 4,500m² applied research centre at the heart of the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone in Preston, Lancashire.

“We are delighted to be backing the University of Sheffield AMRC North West with a £20 million Local Growth Fund investment,” Mr Hall commented. “This project will place Lancashire as a leader in innovation-driven, sustainable economic growth and will act as a catalyst for further inward investment.

“It will also support the creation of highly skilled jobs, bringing opportunities and prosperity to the local community.”

The flagship facility is being built using a £20m grant from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal and extends the AMRC’s footprint across the North. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a turf cutting will be held virtually bringing together key figures involved in the major development.

Steve Foxley, CEO, University of Sheffield AMRC, said that while the ceremony will take place virtually, the new facility will have real-world impacts for the region: “We’ve taken another huge stride in realising our vision to make things better for Lancashire and for the North,” he affirmed.

“This state-of-the-art facility will keep the Lancashire region at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and technologies and support its businesses to innovate and drive up productivity, leading industry towards a green recovery and a smart, sustainable and resilient future.”

Professor Koen Lamberts, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, added: “The University of Sheffield AMRC has a long history of driving manufacturing and productivity growth in the Sheffield City Region and we’re really proud to be sharing our world-leading expertise and experience in Lancashire.

Even before the first spade hit the dirt for the new facility, the creation of a high-performing technical R&D team at AMRC North West is already having impact, having supported more than 100 small and medium sized firms across the region in the first year, and the recent announcement of a £10m funding win to put Lancashire and North West manufacturing at the cutting edge of 5G technology with the 5G-Factory of the Future programme.

Led by AMRC North West, the programme will develop a 5G industrial testbed to unlock the potential of industrial digitalisation and improve the performance of manufacturers across the North of England.

Robertson, one of the largest family-owned construction, infrastructure and support services businesses in the UK, was awarded the £11m construction contract for AMRC North West. Alongside Robertson a full design team is in place, including Cartwright Pickard Architects, Curtins Engineers, Arup, Gardiner and Theobald, and Rex Procter and Partners. Work is expected to complete during the second half of 2021.

Currently operating from an interim facility provided by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in the centre of Preston, the AMRC North West team’s permanent new home will be a gateway development on the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone which is part of the wider Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster.

The cutting-edge research centre will combine modern office workspace with a flexible high-tech workshop facility and a triple-height atrium will form the social hub of the office space where occupants can interact and exchange ideas. A ‘social heart’ space will overlook the workshop where innovation-led R&D will be carried out with a focus on digital and additive manufacturing, vehicle electrification, battery assembly and lightweighting technologies.

www.amrc.co.uk

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/construction-starts-on-amrc-north-west-in-lancashire/

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Automatic evaluation of X-ray detector performance

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Automatic evaluation of X-ray detector performance

Nikon Metrology’s new Detector Evaluation Package in accordance with ASTM E2737 offers automated analysis of image data with performance trend analysis.

Safety standards are becoming ever stricter throughout manufacturing, particularly in the aerospace and automotive industries. Companies using X-ray CT (computed tomography) for non-destructively testing safety-critical components in those and other sectors are increasingly being required to, or may simply wish to, make every effort to show the veracity of their inspection results.

The condition of the digital X-ray detector in particular has a considerable influence on the efficiency and accuracy with which features are revealed and measured, so being able to evaluate and track its performance over time is crucial.

To help users of Nikon Metrology’s X-ray CT systems to process check their detector performance throughout service, the company has launched a new monitoring kit that provides market-leading functionality and simplicity in accordance with the globally accepted standard, ASTM E2737.

The new ASTM E2737 Detector Evaluation Package is available to suit the entire range of Nikon Metrology’s X-ray CT inspection, metrology and large envelope CT systems. All of the manufacturer’s X-ray sources are supported including rotating target technology and the world’s only 450kV microfocus source, in addition to the full range of industry-leading detectors.

The package comes with a pre-calibrated artefact known as a 5-groove wedge phantom and easy-to-install, customised bracketry with quick-change adapters that allow the operator to secure the phantom in the right positions.

Dedicated software performs all necessary functions, including artefact manipulation, image collection and data analysis; creating a detailed report, automatically and rapidly. The streamlined workflow relieves the operator of manual intervention and deskills the procedure to the point where it can be carried out by an operator who knows little about ASTM E2737 or indeed X-ray CT.

Data is obtained on nine detector parameters: spatial resolution, contrast sensitivity, material thickness range, signal-to-noise ratio, signal level, image burn-in, image lag, offset value and bad pixel distribution.

The long-term performance and stability of the detector can be tracked throughout its service life and its consistency compared with a user-defined baseline and customisable thresholds and warnings. Results from all of the nine ASTM E2737 tests are stored every time a suite of measurements is made so they can be interrogated at any time. Graphical and tabular presentation of the results aids visualisation.

The automated workflow from image collection up to the creation of the final report as well the powerful trend analysis capabilities, make the Nikon Metrology ASTM E2737 unique.

Being able to track detector performance over time according to international standards and in an easy way, is of particular benefits to companies that rely on Computed Tomography to control the quality of their products and optimize their production processes as part of their Industry 4.0 initiatives.

www.nikonmetrology.com

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/automatic-evaluation-of-x-ray-detector-performance/

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