Paul Perera, Technology Manager, MyMaskFit and former VP Technology GKN Aerospace, on Building Resilience into A&D’s Global Supply Chain for Full Global Challenge Engagement post-Covid-19

by | Dec 5, 2020

Paul Perera’s new venture My MaskFit emerged out of a phenomenal mobilisation effort in early 2020 to equip UK healthcare workers with the personal protective equipment (PPE) they needed – rapidly and at scale – to fight the pandemic. Paul has a stellar pedigree in aerospace – until September 2020 he was VP Technology for GKN Aerospace, the Tier 1 UK aerostructures company that has been integral to wing-making for decades – and has ‘walked the walk’ when it comes to our ‘Call To Action’ mantra: engaging the latent power of the A&D sector in the fight against all the major global challenges that we face.

In this 30 minute talk, you will hear Paul talk about the genesis of the UK PPE initiative and its emergence out of A&D – and how his new venture serves as a viable template for an entirely new kind of supply chain; one – thanks to advances in technology, and the power and adaptability of the smaller company, especially – with the capacity to ‘flex and flux’ to be far more resilient than present models. This isn’t just about creating a new mask, he tells us, “it’s about creating an entirely new supply chain” – one that is infinitely more sustainable and ready to respond across any number of unknown challenges in the years ahead.

A&D should be central to this effort, he says: “I think that there’s an ecosystem around aerospace that’s pretty common to many of the challenges that we should be looking to solve.” Not the least of these, of course, is climate change. Paul goes on to talk about the sustainable aviation industry that is already emerging out of the turbulence of 2020 and how the UK government needs to go much further than it is at present to put hydrogen front and centre of this mobilisation effort – emulating strategies now being put in place amongst other major economies in the fight against climate change.

The UK Ventilator Challenge, he believes, serves as a model for how this can be done. “We need to move at pace and we need to concentrate on the community that sits around aerospace, as well as the core players themselves.” This, as is evident from the many other interviews we have conducted over the past year, is integral to our thinking at NCW, too. Governments need to recognise that they have an untapped asset in A&D technology and skills – already paid for by the tax-payer – that has the power to act, in concert with other sectors, in fighting the planet’s key challenges – starting with climate change and extending through food and water security and environmental emergencies into the humanitarian relief sector.

For more on this – as well as the growing number of voices who are calling for just this kind of action – please explore our CTA website and see our mission statement.