£685m funding granted to develop green aviation technology

The UK Government has awarded £685m to the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), to develop green aviation technology.

The ATI will receive £685m from the UK Government for the financial years 2022 to 2023 through to 2024 to 2025 –  which is an increase of £235m on the previous three-year period – to develop green aviation technology. Additionally, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Department for Transport will provide co-funding, and thus take the total to more than £1bn.

What does this investment into this technology mean for the UK Government?

The funding will be employed to capitalise on the UK’s world-leading research and development system, as well as supporting then development of zero carbon and ultra-low emission aircraft technology. This will cement the UK’s position at the forefront of advancing novel green technology, whilst also supporting and creating thousands of jobs.

Previous projects supported in this sector include ZeroAvia’s six seat hydrogen-electric aircraft – which is the largest such aircraft in the world – and Rolls-Royce’s development of the largest, most efficient aircraft engine.

Industry Minister Lee Rowley commented: “Since its formation in 2013, the Aerospace Technology Institute has been an enormous success, already funding world-leading innovations like hydrogen aircraft and 3D printed components. These projects are making a real-world impact and could one day help the global aviation industry transition to net zero.

“Today’s commitment is a sign of our increasing ambition and will give large and small businesses the confidence to invest in the technologies that will bring civil aviation into the next generation.”

How will this funding develop green aviation technology?

Aerospace Technology Institute CEO Gary Elliott added: “I am delighted that the UK Government’s commitment to R&T investment in sustainable aircraft has today resulted in an uplift to £685m for the UK aerospace sector over the Spending Review period, in addition to the commitment at the Budget that the ATI Programme will continue until 2031.

“With the support of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, and with government investment matched by industry, the ATI will be able to invest more than £1bn over the next three years in the cutting-edge technology needed to move towards our net zero targets.

“This has allowed us to reopen ATI funding to new applications from April and we will work with BEIS and Innovate UK to ensure that this funding drives UK economic growth and reduces global aviation emissions.”

What is the ATI Programme?

The ATI Programme began in 2013, has created more than 81,000 high value jobs, and added £97bn in value to the economy to date. On top of this, it co-funds industry-led innovation in civil aerospace technology and manufacturing and supports the development of the next generation of green aviation technology, while growing the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace.

As a result of its success, the ATI Programme has received an extension to 2031. This commitment gives industry the confidence to continue to co-invest with the UK Government, driving growth, jobs, innovation, and reducing aviation emissions.

The UK Government has also confirmed today (29 March 2022) that the ATI Programme will reopen to new funding applications on 4 April 2022.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts concluded: “As the government prepares to publish our Jet Zero Strategy this summer it is great to see new funding to support the development of new aerospace technology.

“This funding, in addition to £180m of government funding already announced to support the UK sustainable aviation fuels, demonstrates how we are supporting our aviation sector to decarbonise whilst maintaining its critical role in connecting people.”

The ATI Programme is a key component of the UK Government’s Jet Zero policy, which includes the Jet Zero Council, established to convene government, industry, and academia, and jointly chaired by the Business Secretary and Transport Secretary. A final Jet Zero strategy will be published this summer.

This funding is in addition to £180m of new government funding announced in the Net Zero Strategy to support the deployment and commercialisation of Sustainable Aviation Fuel plants in the UK.

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