UK aerospace sector to benefit from £400 million funding to go green

The UK’s aerospace sector is to benefit from £400 million of funding enabling ambitious plans to go green get off the ground, the Government has announced.

Government grants totalling £200 million, delivered through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) programme, will be matched by industry and invested in new research and technology which will also support the sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

New projects set to receive funding will include the development of high performance engines, new wing designs, ultra-lightweight materials, energy-efficient electric components, and other new concepts to enhance innovation within the sector.

The funding was announced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma at Farnborough Connect, the virtual version of Farnborough International Airshow. He commented: “We have an incredible aerospace industry right here in the UK that defines the way aircraft are manufactured globally. This £400 million ATI investment will help secure our world-leading position in developing new flight technology to make air travel safer and greener into the future.”

In addition, the Business Secretary also announced the launch of FlyZero, an initiative that will kickstart exploration into zero-carbon emission commercial aircraft.
The study will receive government funding and bring together around 100 experts to tackle issues involved in designing and building a commercially successful zero-emission aircraft. The study will create a strong basis for further research and development into a wide of technologies necessary for future flight, with the aim of securing future manufacturing in the UK. This follows the launch of the Jet Zero Council, which brings industry and government together to make net zero emissions possible for future flights. The new research will feed into the work of the Council in defining and delivering this ambition.

Gary Elliott, Chief Executive of the Aerospace Technology Institute, commented: “FlyZero represents an acceleration of the UK’s ambition to lead the world in green aviation. These are challenging but also exciting times for the aerospace sector; we need to help UK companies to recover while also creating new approaches to technology development and innovation. FlyZero will engage a team of highly-skilled engineers and technologists from across the UK to look into how to design and build a zero emission commercial aircraft, with the solid aim of securing future manufacturing in the UK.”