Press release

New aerospace technologies to get £365 million funding

Business Secretary announces government and industry commitment to provide almost £365 million of funding for new aerospace technologies.

  • government and industry providing hundreds of millions of pounds for aerospace research and development (R&D) projects
  • £1.2 billion has already been invested in projects
  • Aerospace Growth Partnership to launch an updated strategy

Business Secretary Sajid Javid has today (12 July 2016) announced that government and industry have committed to providing almost £365 million of funding for new aerospace technologies, further enhancing the UK’s reputation as a world leading aircraft design and manufacturing hub.

The news, timed to coincide with this week’s Farnborough Air Show, builds on the £1.2 billion of funding government has already jointly invested through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), which has contributed to 149 new projects, involving 188 different companies and organisations, including over 100 small and medium sized businesses.

The research projects will target different aspects of aircraft manufacturing and performance, driving up competitiveness, lowering costs, and helping to deliver environmentally-friendly aircraft with lower emissions and reduced noise.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Aerospace is a vitally important industry for the UK and it is one of our great manufacturing success stories, supporting over 230,000 jobs and generating over £30 billion a year for the economy. We are number one in Europe and world leaders in innovation, design and manufacturing parts for planes.

With government and industry investing nearly £4 billion by 2026, we are showing our continued commitment to this vital sector and our intention to keep the UK’s world-beating status. I am proud of our record supporting our great aero industry and we will continue to do all we can to help this high flying sector soar to even greater heights.

Also at Farnborough, the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) updated the sector on the industrial strategy for UK aerospace. The AGP has transformed the way in which industry and government work together to secure the long-term future of one of the UK’s most important sectors.

A key feature of the strategy is industry’s Supply Chain Competitiveness Charter signed by the sector’s leading civil aerospace manufacturers. This will strengthen relationships between the large companies and their suppliers, working together to raise productivity and competitiveness.

Welcoming the new AGP strategy, Sajid Javid said:

Means of Ascent, the updated strategy for the UK aerospace industry, is a great piece of work and will really help with the partnership between government and industry. I am also extremely pleased to see that the industry has also developed a Supply Chain Competitiveness Charter which will help our smaller companies become even more productive and export more.

ATI Chief Executive Gary Elliott said:

This is the largest batch of ATI projects to be launched since operations started 3 years ago. It moves UK aerospace towards delivering the next generation of quiet and low emission aircraft, whilst also tackling immediate manufacturing challenges. The participants are a who’s who of global aerospace, as well as the UK supply chain and research base – a powerful demonstration of the strength of UK innovation.

Innovate UK Chief Executive Ruth McKernan said:

From the inception of Innovate UK 9 years ago, we have been working with companies large and small to make the UK a global centre of excellence for aerospace innovation. We look forward to continuing the highly successful partnership with industry, the Aerospace Technology Institute and government to deliver this goal.

ADS CEO Paul Everitt said:

This investment reinforces the value of modern industrial strategies and will help keep the UK at the forefront of global aerospace technology. The Aerospace Growth Partnership’s focus on the value of the UK supply chain and the steps required to sustain global competitiveness will help ensure the sector continues to make a growing contribution to our national prosperity.

Notes to editors:

  1. These projects have received funding from the aerospace research and development (R&D) programme, a £3.9 billion joint funding commitment from industry and government to support projects which build on the UK’s strengths and develop the products and manufacturing technologies that will best position the UK to sustain its global competitiveness. The programme is delivered in partnership between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Innovate UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI). The commitment was made in 2013 and the 2015 Spending Review announced that the funding would be extended by 6 years to 2025 to 2026, worth an additional £900 million from government.

  2. The ATI was created by government and industry to guide investment into research and technology projects that will sustain and enhance the UK’s competitive advantage. Its technology strategy defines the best combination of capabilities, technologies and products to advance next-generation civil aircraft; enabling industry to exploit anticipated global growth, and deliver value to the UK economy through the sector’s high productivity and skills. The ATI has now published a Technology Strategy and Portfolio Update 2016.

  3. Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy - delivering productivity, new jobs and exports and keeping the UK globally competitive in the race for future prosperity.

  4. Means of ascent: strategy for UK aerospace 2016