Altran, Rapita Systems and University of Oxford JV wins aviation contract

22 September 2016

Altran will work together with Rapita Systems and the University of Oxford to deliver a National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme funded project to automate the testing of SPARK related software within the aviation industry. The aim of the initiative is to significantly reduce the growing burden of verification and validation costs associated with large software programmes.

The aerospace industry employs around 230,000 and adds around £24 billion to the economy every year. Growing the economic potential of the ecosystem has become a priority for the UK Government. As part of the initiatives aimed at stimulating further growth, the government in partnership with industry launched a £40 million National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) in 2013. The objective of the programme is to support the development of around 100 undeveloped ‘low hanging fruit’ aerospace technologies – creating more than 1,200 jobs in the process. Partners to the programme, which is managed by ADS and rolled out by Regional Aerospace Alliances, include Airbus, Bombardier, GKN Aerospace, Rolls-Royce and Spirit Aerosystems.

Altran, Rapita Systems and University of Oxford JV wins aviation contract

One of the projects being worked on is AUTOSAC, an initiative that aims to automate the testing of aerospace software using SPARK*. NATEP recently unveiled that it has granted three firms – Altran, Rapita Systems and the University of Oxford – with funding to deliver the project.

The venture seeks to leverage the partners’ joint capabilities to develop tests for ED-12C/DO-178C applications, with an expectation of realising significant cost savings for end users. The hope for the programme is to reduce the growing verification and validation costs associated with a host of programmes – with potential savings of up to 10% for tests expected where SPARK software is used. According to NATEP, given the size of aerospace programmes, considerable savings may be made.

Stuart Matthews, Product Manager for SPARK at Altran UK, says, “We are delighted to be working with our partners on this exciting research project. The high costs associated with unit testing have long been a problem in the production of high-integrity software. Using SPARK contracts in this innovative way promises to have a significant impact on this key industry issue.”

“Over the next decade the civil aerospace market will see unprecedented growth both in passenger and civil aircraft fleet numbers, which will present the supply chain to Aircraft Original Equipment Manufacturers with a unique challenge in adapting their engineering techniques to match demand", says Mark H. Johnstone, Industry Sector Lead for Aerospace at Altran UK. He adds: "We see innovation as key to this challenge. Working with highly skilled partners will add value to current products and develop new technologies, processes and techniques that will enable our clients to increase production rates, lower costs, reduce lead time to market and, as a result, maintain their competitive advantage.”

* SPARK is a programming language and verification toolset used in the development of high-integrity software.


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Grey Consulting and Makerversity announce strategic partnership

05 April 2019

Grey Consulting has forged a new alliance with Makerversity, a 500-strong community of the brightest creative innovators, headquartered at Somerset House, London. The partnership hopes to tap into the experimental community to develop pioneering solutions for Grey Consulting’s clients.

In August 2018, one of the world’s largest design agencies surprised the business world by launching a dedicated consulting outfit. The news came as the two industries continued on their trajectory towards a historic synthesis. The consulting industry has been engaged in a pitched battle with the advertising and design space for the past few years, as the former increasingly encroaches on the territory of the latter via a protracted campaign of mergers and acquisitions; but there had been little traffic moving in the other direction.

At its launch, Grey Consulting was not billed as a direct competitor to established consultancies. However, the firm behind the new entity hopes that its creative experience will give it a competitive edge in winning consulting business from its existing clients. The Grey Group is a global advertising and marketing agency with headquarters in New York City, and 432 offices in 96 countries, operating in 154 cities. Grey Consulting opened its doors with a view to aiding clients within the areas of business and brand design, innovation and digital transformations.Grey Consulting and Makerversity announce strategic partnership

Now, as the firm looks to further expand its footprint in the market, Grey Consulting has unveiled details of a ground-breaking new alliance with Makerversity, a 500-strong community of creative innovators headquartered at Somerset House, London. The alignment with Makerversity is hoped to unlock the potential of collaborating with one of the world’s most experimental communities.

Makerversity curates and convenes the best talent across product design, fashion, art and experimental architecture, sustainable materials, IoT, digital manufacturing, and coding. It provides spaces and workshops for professional makers to develop and create their work, supported by Somerset House Trust. The alliance is expected to enable Grey Consulting to develop pioneering solutions for its clients, together with innovators who make something amazing for a living, every day. 

Leo Rayman, Grey Consulting CEO, commented, “This gives our clients the potential to access a network of some of the most diverse and innovative individuals in the world today. Being so tightly connected to a community of makers means we don’t just develop transformational strategies but can quickly realise them in three dimensions. This sets Grey Consulting apart from the pure play strategy houses who are sometimes criticised for not making their thinking real at the pace modern businesses require.” 

Fiona Dent, CEO of Makerversity, added, “Makerversity acts as a catalyst for unexpected encounters, fostering collaborations between an incredible range of the brightest leading creators and innovators. Our experimental approach and engaged members, whose own practice is defining our world, create highly original new outcomes. We are delighted to bring this philosophy to a wider audience and generate interesting projects for Makerversity members through our partnership with Grey Consulting.”