UK aerospace innovations take flight with £47m fund

Business Minister Anna Soubry has announced the 23 winners of a £47m joint government and industry funding competition, ‘Building UK’s leadership in aerospace technology’.

The competition seeks to strengthen the UK’s position as an aerospace world leader by awarding investment to innovative projects that align with the Aerospace Technology Institute’s technology strategy.

The programme, shaped by the ATI and delivered by Innovate UK, has led to successful proposals involving 100 different organisations, including 55 small and medium sized businesses and 11 universities.

Winners include:

  • A £2.15 million project by Southampton-based company Ilika, Reliance Precision Engineering, University of Sheffield, GKN and BAE Systems, will develop a new generation of self-healing alloys – those with the ability to remove micro-cracks without human interaction.
  • A £1.9 million project by TE Connectivity, who come from Swindon, will assess how lightweight printed circuits can replace wiring – reducing fuel consumption and improving emissions.
  • A £1.1 million project led by Advanced Innovative Engineering (UK) Ltd in Lichfield to develop game-changing electrical power systems for the next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Anna Soubry said: “Backed by almost £50m from government and industry, these truly innovative projects will help maintain our position as a world leader in aerospace.

“We will continue to work closely with industry, to increase productivity and growth, raise skill levels and keep us ahead of our international competitors.”

Gary Elliott, CEO, Aerospace Technology Institute, commented: “We are very pleased to see so many supply chain organisations involved in this competition.

“It demonstrates the richness and innovative nature of the UK’s aerospace capability. Engagement with the UK supply chain will be essential for improving our international competitiveness.”