Press release

PM accelerates towards greener travel with new £300 million investment

UK innovators will today (Saturday 24 August) be boosted by more than £300 million investment, to develop cleaner, greener forms of transport.

This was published under the 2019 to 2022 Johnson Conservative government
  • Government announces up to £300 million investment in cleaner flight solutions for people and goods
  • Researchers developing electric planes and cleaner jet fuels will receive additional £5 million boost
  • British businesses to benefit from continued investment in cleaner transport tech to boost our exports around the world

UK innovators will today (Saturday 24 August) be boosted by more than £300 million investment, to develop cleaner, greener forms of transport.

The government will provide £125 million, which will be supported by industry co-investment of up to £175 million to support exciting new technologies including flying urban taxis, electric passenger planes and even freight-carrying drones.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson heads to the G7 Summit in Biarritz to urge greater action to tackle climate change and protect the environment for future generations.

Alongside this, five new transport research networks will receive a £5 million cash injection for their work developing cleaner forms of fuel and other tech innovations to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

The new transport research networks will be led by: the University of Birmingham, the University of Leeds, the University of Durham, Cardiff University and University College London.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

From our shopping choices to planning our holidays, we rightly want to make decisions that protect the planet.

This £300 million investment will help speed up the development of greener flights, and new ways of delivering the goods we order online.

The UK is already recognised around the world as a centre for green tech. Now we will lengthen our lead, supporting our industry and our citizens to reduce their carbon footprint.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:

The possibilities for new ways to transport goods and services - or to get from A to B - are endless.

This investment will help make the most of the exceptional talent and expertise we have in these industries, and ensure the U.K. leads the way internationally in designing and developing technology, from electric taxis to drones delivering parcels.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

New technologies like electric and autonomous aircraft can help us tackle climate change, making journeys greener and working better for passengers.

This funding will support the extraordinary talents of UK industry and academia, and demonstrate our country’s position as a world-leading transport innovator.

The Future of Flight Challenge is delivered by UK Research and Innovation. Industry will initially focus on smaller aircraft and drones to ensure the suitability of the new technologies before developing them for larger passenger aircraft.

The additional £5 million of funding has been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Notes to editors

  1. The first Future Flight Challenge competition, to create compelling concept studies will open on 30 September 2019.
  2. There will be a briefing about the competition by video conference on the morning of 5 September; details of how to register for this will be released on the Innovate UK site soon.

Updates to this page

Published 24 August 2019