The UK’s aerospace sector will receive a £343m boost to develop new greener technologies, announced the Business and Energy Secretary at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow.
£255m of the investment will go towards 18 new research and technology projects which will include the development of cleaner and greener hybrid aircraft.
£68 million of the funding will be made available to increase research and development opportunities in small to medium-sized companies, with £20 million to drive improvements in long-term productivity across the sector.
A major beneficiary of the latest research and development funding will be the E-Fan X project which is a joint effort from Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens to develop a flying electrical demonstrator which will form the foundation for future electrical aircrafts. The Government says ‘it will contribute to their biggest shift in engine architecture since the 1970s.’
‘The UK has a rich heritage in civil aviation as the home of the jet engine and the wings factory of the world,’ said Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.
‘Technology is driving revolutionary changes in aviation that have not been seen since the 1970s and today’s investment is foundational to the future of commercial aviation and ensuring the UK remains at the cutting-edge of the sector.
‘This revolution in civil aerospace will bring significant benefits to UK industry, passengers and the environment. Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are working with industry to lead the world as we embark on this journey into the new age of air travel.’
Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg added: ‘The development of quicker, quieter and cleaner aircraft will transform the UK’s transport market and open up new and more sustainable ways for passengers to travel between our cities and regions and across the globe. Developing innovation, technology and skills is a core part of the government’s Aviation Strategy and this funding will help us to ensure that the UK aviation sector continues to be a world leader in this area.’
Greg Clark also announced the start of formal negotiations for an Industrial Strategy sector deal that he hopes will increase business investment in the UK, with discussions expected to explore investment opportunities around electrification and high-value design, how to raise productivity levels in the supply chain and how to boost skill levels in the sector.