The new £685m investment in aerospace announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is set to make an impact with SMEs which serve as “the backbone of the UK’s aerospace, aviation and defence industries,” according to Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC).
The funding, which will be distributed via the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) will allow FAC to continue recommending projects for funding via the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP).
NATEP targets funds at small and medium-sized businesses to help them develop their own technologies and increase their ability to win new business with the biggest firms. The new money will be provided over three years and will be match funded by private industry, meaning more than £1bn of support for the sector.
Investment “exactly what’s required”
Alan Fisher, chief executive officer of FAC, said: “This investment is exactly what’s required because the UK is a world leader in aerospace and it is a position we want to retain coming out of the pandemic. The money was secured after lobbying by our partners ADS and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
He added: “We will benefit because it will allow us to work in partnership with ADS to continue to recommend projects for funding through NATEP. These smaller companies and their innovative projects are the backbone of the UK’s aerospace, aviation and defence industries. Using this money to help fund them to continue their research and development will keep the industry moving forward.
UK “at the vanguard” of net zero revolution
He added: “There is great emphasis at the moment on achieving net zero aviation and the UK is at the vanguard of this revolution. The money is an investment and will help create jobs and grow businesses; there is no doubt it will make a huge impact.”
ADS chief executive Kevin Craven said: “This is a major vote of confidence in the UK aerospace industry. The uplift in funding will turbocharge our development of the technology needed to deliver net zero aviation, accelerating progress towards this global ambition.”
“Industry match-funding for Government’s investment in the ATI will mean more than £1.3bn available for investment in aerospace R&D over three years, supporting and creating high value jobs in all nations and regions of the UK.”
“Aerospace generates UK exports worth billions of pounds a year, and in this technologically advanced sector, R&D investment is vital to maintaining our competitive advantage.”