Press release

£60 million aerospace projects cleared for take off

Seven aerospace research projects designed to keep Britain at the forefront of the global aerospace market will receive almost £60 million.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Seven aerospace research projects designed to keep Britain at the forefront of the global aerospace market will receive almost £60 million the Business Minister Michael Fallon announced today (25 February 2014).

The funding has been allocated from the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), which will see government and industry jointly invest £2 billion over the next 7 years in new technology and manufacturing. This could secure up to 115,000 high value jobs in aerospace and its supply chain in the long term.

It forms part of the Aerospace Industrial Strategy - a long term economic plan which sets out how to keep the UK industry globally competitive in the face of increasing international competition and changes in technology.

Speaking at the Aerospace Growth Partnership technology showcase Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

Government and industry are working together to keep Britain at the forefront of the global aerospace market where we are second only to the United States.

We are jointly funding the Aerospace Technology Institute to the tune of £2 billion so it can develop technology for the next generation of quieter, more energy efficient and environmentally friendly planes.

Getting this right will mean more of the research and development needed to win work on the planes and helicopters of the future will happen here in the UK.

The 7 projects will receive £29.8 million from government with the remainder of the £58.2 million investment contributed by industry. They span the 4 key, high value areas of modern aircraft that the ATI will focus on and where the UK excels – aerodynamics, propulsion (engines), advanced systems and structures:

in Aerodynamics

  • Bombardier is leading a consortium to improve the aerodynamics of nacelles (the housing that holds engines, fuel, or equipment on an aircraft)

  • AgustaWestland is working with 3 universities and 3 SMEs to provide significant improvements in passenger comfort and aircraft vibration for the next generation helicopter

in Propulsion

  • Rolls-Royce is leading 2 projects to develop quieter, more efficient engines

in Advanced Systems

  • GE Aviation is working with BAE Systems and Coventry and Southampton Universities to design the next generation of flight decks

  • BAE Systems are leading a consortium exploring unmanned aviation in the civil market

in Structures

  • UTC Aerospace Systems is working with Raytheon and others to close current technological gaps in motors and control electronics which will support the introduction of the all-electric aircraft.

Marcus Bryson, CEO of GKN Aerospace and Land Systems, President of Aerospace trade organisation ADS and co-chair of the Aerospace Growth Partnership said:

I am delighted by the announcement of these projects which demonstrates that the ATI has arrived and is working to ensure that the UK is developing the technologies required to keep us as a leading aerospace nation. It also demonstrates that the government-industry partnership developed under the AGP is working fantastically well.

Taken together these 7 projects involve 10 different global companies, 9 different universities and 5 SMEs.

This follows last month’s announcement by the Chancellor that the first £60 million from the ATI would be in invested in a new aerospace facility at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry.

Notes to editors

  1. The ATI is led by independent Chair Stephen Henwood. It is headquartered at the Cranfield Technology Park and is on track to be fully operational from the beginning of April 2014.

  2. The aerospace industrial strategy can be found at Lifting Off – Implementing the Strategic Vision for UK Aerospace.

  3. The Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) brings industry and government together to tackle barriers to growth, boost exports and grow the number of high value jobs in the UK. The AGP is jointly chaired by Michael Fallon, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), and Marcus Bryson, CEO of GKN Aerospace and President of ADS.

  4. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 25 February 2014